3 WNY companies get low-cost hydro

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM EDT

By David Bertola, Business First of Buffalo

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3 WNY companies get low-cost hydro

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM EDT


Three Western New York companies have been approved for low-cost hydropower allocations to support expansions that might result in the creation of nearly 150 jobs.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees has approved the allocations to Norampac to expand its operations in Niagara Falls; Klein Steel Services Inc. of Tonawanda, and International Imaging Materials Inc. of Amherst.

Containerboard manufacturer Norampac was approved to receive 10 megawatts (MW) of low-cost hydropower to construct a new facility to make "green" products. Norampac and its partners are considering an investment in a new facility adjacent to its current Niagara Falls site. The project is projected to result in the creation of more than 100 jobs.

Klein Steel Services was approved to receive a 2 MW allocation to support plans to expand its business by manufacturing steel plating through a patented process at its existing facility. The company's expansion would include 37 new jobs and secure the company's 210 existing jobs at its Tonawanda, Rochester and Syracuse locations. Its three-phase project would involve the company's investment of $8.2 million for the installation of a manual plate-feeding production line, automating it and adding two more steel production lines.

International Imaging Materials Inc., which develops, manufactures and markets printing, imaging and marking products, is planning a $1.8 million investment to expand its specialized coating capability. In addition to its 2.5 MW current allocation at its Amherst facilities, International Imaging Materials will receive 700 kilowatts and create 10 jobs.

The allocations for these three Western New York companies were made under NYPA's Replacement Power (RP) Program, one of two programs that provide low-cost Niagara power for businesses in return for commitments to create jobs in Western New York. Replacement Power, together with another hydro-based program, Expansion Power (EP), account for about one-third of the Niagara project's firm generating output. The power is supplied to businesses at rates typically 75 percent less than the average wholesale market prices in the state, making it a vital instrument for economic development, particularly for manufacturers and other energy-intensive companies. More than 70 percent of the region's manufacturing jobs benefit from the low-cost power.