NYPA Approves Low-Cost Hydropower to Support Grand Island Pharmaceutical Company’s Plans to Add 30 Jobs

Jack Murphy

November 23, 2004


ALBANY—A Western New York pharmaceutical company—Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc.—has pledged to create 30 new jobs in return for low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project in Lewiston.

“It’s great news for Western New York because the expansion will further solidify the future of Fujisawa Healthcare’s state-of-the-art operation,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “We’re delighted to help make this possible through our allocation of low-cost hydropower.”

The new jobs, which will be added over the next three years to a work force of 109, are in connection with plans by Fujisawa for a $9 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in Grand Island, including a quality-control laboratory. 

The facility, at 3125 Staley Road, currently produces a non-steroidal topical ointment, trademarked as Protopic, for treatment of moderate to severe eczema. The planned expansion will permit the production of two additional dermatological prescription medications, for psoriasis.

The NYPA trustees approved an allocation of 700 kilowatts (kw) for Fujisawa from a block of hydropower known as replacement power. The 445,000-kw block, like a second, smaller amount of Niagara power called expansion power, is reserved for businesses within a 30-mile radius of the project switchyard, in Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua Counties. Together, the two blocks of power, totaling 695,000 kw, are some of the lowest cost electricity in the state, linked to more than 43,000 jobs in the region.

The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of the Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk, Empire State Development Corp. and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, recommended the allocation to Fujisawa. Late last year, the members of the group signed a Memorandum of Understanding for allocations of available Niagara power on a continuous basis to maximize the economic development benefits of the hydroelectric project.

“Since the agreement, we’ve made Niagara power allocations to a total of 22 Western New York companies, including Fujisawa, to create more than 2,200 jobs,” said Chairman Ciminelli. “These allocations stem from the collaborative efforts spearheaded by Governor George E. Pataki to strengthen Western New York’s manufacturing base and the region’s overall economy.”

The 2,400,000-kilowatt Niagara Project is the single largest source of electricity in New York State.

Fujisawa, whose corporate office is in Deerfield, Ill., markets proprietary pharmaceutical products in the U.S. and abroad. It’s a subsidiary of Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., based in Osaka, Japan.