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Hochul: Scrapping of former RiverBend equipment is “disturbing”

Nearly $22 million in equipment will be recycled
Posted at 2:30 PM, Oct 20, 2021

ALABAMA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Gov. Kathy Hochul responded Wednesday to reports that equipment previously used by Tesla and Panasonic at the RiverBend plant would be scrapped, calling it “disturbing.”

7 Eyewitness News learned nearly $22 million in taxpayer funded equipment originally purchased for the site will be recycled.

In total, the state will offload over $200 million worth of tools and equipment it originally purchased.

“What you’re talking about is disturbing, and it’s not acceptable to know that this equipment was languishing for many, many years,” said Hochul.

Some of the equipment will be leased while other pieces will be sold, according to Hochul.

A spokesperson for NY CREATES said Tesla will install tools at Gigafactory 2 that they have purchased once the state owned equipment is gone.

“Going forward we are going to continue to make the smartest investments we can,” Hochul said.

The governor was unable to provide a dollar amount that the state hopes to recoup through the sale of the equipment.

However, the state does anticipate that Tesla will hit a required employment benchmark by the end of the year.

The site currently employs over 1,000 people. Tesla projects to hit an eventual target of 5,000 jobs, according to Hochul.