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Manufacturers to Benefit from New Economic Development Program Aimed at Reducing Energy Costs: New York Power Authority to Award $7.9 Million this Year

CONTACT:       
Christine Pritchard
518-322-9143
christine.pritchard@nypa.gov

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September 30, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   

CAMDEN—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today was joined by representatives of International Wire Group of Oneida County to kick-off of a three-year economic development program to provide support for major manufacturers struggling with high energy costs through the current financial crisis. In addition to International Wire, two other major employers, Nucor Steel in Auburn and Positive Promotions of Suffolk County received awards. 

The Industrial Incentive Awards, which is linked to job commitments, centers on incentives to help offset the overall electricity costs of manufactures, whose energy costs typically account for a significant portion of their operating costs. 

“Governor Paterson has made it a priority to work in partnership with businesses to lower electricity costs, especially during this difficult economic time when companies are contending with reduced product demand and struggling to maintain their operations,” said Kessel. “The Power Authority is doing its part to provide assistance, including the Industrial Incentive Awards program, to support important local employers.” 

The award is aimed toward helping energy-intensive manufacturers cope with their high energy costs. As a non-profit utility that produces large quantities of electric power at a lower cost than traditional power producers, NYPA supplies some of that lower-cost power to businesses in New York State that will pledge to either keep or add jobs for the benefit of regional economies and for the state in general. 

In total, NYPA, through the Industrial Incentive Awards, will make available up to $7.9 million this year and additional funds for the next two years to manufacturers at risk of relocating out–of-state or closing as a result of the economic downturn. Companies will have the ability to renew for one or two additional years provided they continue to meet their New York state job commitments. 

An initial award will be provided to International Wire Group, an important manufacturer in the Mohawk Valley and critical employer in Oneida County. 

Rodney D. Kent, Chief Executive Officer of International Wire Group, Inc. said, “We are grateful to the State of New York, Governor David Paterson, New York Power Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel and Dennis Mullen of the Empire State Development Corporation for their support to keep our manufacturing plants competitive with this economic incentive.” 

International Wire Group, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of wire products, including bare, silver-plated, nickel-plated and tin-plated copper wire, for other wire suppliers, distributors and original equipment manufacturers.  Its products include a broad spectrum of copper wire configurations and gauges with a variety of electrical and conductive characteristics and are utilized by a wide variety of customers primarily in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, electronics/data communications, industrial/energy and medical device industries.  The company’s predecessor operations in central New York date back to the late 1800s.  The company currently employs approximately 640 people in central New York contributing over $25 million in wages to the local economy.   

International Wire’s Industrial Incentive Award, which represents a discount of up to three cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) off market rates up to $1.88 million per year, will help International Wire offset its high energy costs, and thereby maintain its full operations and protect its nearly 300 employees. 

In return for the industrial incentive award, International Wire has committed to maintaining its operations in New York State and has agreed to keep employment levels of its current employment of 300at its Oneida County facilities. 

Senator Joseph A. Griffo said: "New York needs to work harder to stop the revolving door of businesses leaving the State. International Wire Group is a valued manufacturer in this region who is not alone in a struggle to keep their high energy costs in line with the rest of their operating expenses. I commend CEO Kessel  and NYPA for identifying and awarding businesses like International Wire, whose CEO Rod Kent has demonstrated a commitment to keep jobs here in the community." 

Assemblyman Dave Townsend said: “Our manufacturing sector forms the backbone of Central New York’s regional economy. I am proud to see International Wire Group and its 300 employees given the support they need to continue to thrive in Oneida County. Energy costs, in addition to labor, make up the lion’s share of any company’s operating budget. These industrial incentive awards will not only provide a proven job-creation engine with discounted energy but keep a trusted business partner in our community. I applaud the New York Power Authority for its timely and cost-effective industrial incentive program.” 

In addition to the International Wire award, two other critical employers have been awarded Industrial Incentive Awards. Nucor Steel Auburn, Inc. will receive an award valued at 0.7 cents per kWh up to a maximum of $2 million, protecting the company’s 260 jobs. Nucor Steel came to New York State in 2001 when it purchased a failing steel plant in Auburn for $115 million.  Nucor Steel has annual expenditures in New York State alone of more than $100 million and an annual payroll of approximately $22 million, making its Auburn operation an economic engine for Central New York. 

Also, Positive Promotions of Hauppauge will receive an award valued up to $100,000, per year representing a discount of up to three cents per kWh off market rates. 

The industrial incentive award program was approved by the NYPA Board of Trustees and the Economic Development Power Allocation Board meetings in May 2009. 

“The current economic conditions require creative solutions for bolstering businesses to help shore up their operations,” said Kenneth A. Schoetz, EDPAB chairman. “The disbursement of industrial incentive awards to key manufacturers around the state is part of Governor Paterson’s strategy for supporting vital businesses and protecting jobs for New Yorkers.”


About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■  About 75 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. ■ Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.  ■   For more information, www.nypa.gov.

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