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Latest Niagara Power Allocations by N.Y. Power Authority to Result in 85 New Western New York Jobs

Michael Saltzman

November 29, 2005


QUEENS—Some 85 new jobs in Buffalo and Elma will result from the latest low-cost hydropower allocations from the Niagara Power Project approved Tuesday by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees.

Steuben Foods Inc. in Elma and Niagara Ceramics Corp. in Buffalo have agreed to create the additional jobs for expansions that are expected to increase power demand.

“We’re looking forward to supporting capital investments by Steuben Foods and Niagara Ceramics, as they enhance their competitiveness through ambitious expansion plans,” said Joseph J. Seymour, NYPA chairman. “The Niagara project is a major force for job creation and protection in Western New York, with more than 43,000 jobs linked to its power production, and these two employers are the latest examples of its importance to the area’s economy.”

Seymour noted that the latest allocations were approved under an enhanced process for making Niagara hydropower available on a continuous basis for creating jobs in the region. In less than two years, the new job commitments have reached about 2,600.

The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of the Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk, Empire State Development Corp., and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, recommends the industrial allocations from the Niagara Project.

Steuben Foods is a leading manufacturer of global brand foods and beverages using technologically advanced extended shelf life and aseptic processing and packaging techniques. The company is  preparing to begin the first phase of an expansion that when fully completed in the next several years is expected to create 75 new jobs, adding to  an existing work force of more than 300.

Steuben will receive a new allocation of 3,000 kilowatt (kw) from a 250,000-kw block of Niagara industrial power known as expansion power.

In addition to the promised low-cost hydropower, which is vital for the planned expansion to be feasible, the Elma company is working to complete a package of other economic development incentives and expects to announce more information later this year.

Niagara Ceramics, which manufactures decorative dinnerware, will receive a 300-kilowatt allocation from a 445,000-kw block of Niagara power known as replacement power. The company, which currently has a work force of 190, plans to add 10 additional jobs linked to its acquisition of two electric kilns, for firing decorated dinnerware products and other ceramic shapes.

Together, expansion and replacement power—both reserved for Western New York businesses and industries—represents about one-third of the Niagara Project’s total output.

The Niagara Project is the largest single source of electricity in New York State, with a net dependable capability of 2,400,000 kw. It provides some of the lowest-cost electricity in the state or, for that matter, the country.

The Power Authority Trustees approved the two latest hydropower allocations at their monthly meeting, held Tuesday at NYPA’s Charles Poletti Power Project in Queens.