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Sun., Oct. 4
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Gov. Cuomo announces Alcoa’s modernization plans


MASSENA - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Alcoa, a leading producer and miner in the aluminum industry, is prepared to move forward with the next phase of modernizing its Massena operations.

The upgrade is called for under a contract with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for the continued supply of low-cost hydropower from the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Hydroelectric Plant as part of a long-term agreement to protect a minimum of 900 jobs at the aluminum production facilities.

Alcoa is planning to invest $42 million for site preparation and detailed engineering at the Massena East smelter and to provide an additional $10 million toward a North Country Economic Development Fund (NCEDF). The company’s decision to proceed with the next phase of the modernization of the former Reynolds Metals facility heralds the construction of a new aluminum production potline for which work is expected to begin in June.

Alcoa’s modernization project is subject to receipt of an approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a proposed remedial action plan for cleanup of the Grasse River. The EPA’s decision is expected in April.

“Alcoa is a mainstay of the North Country’s economy and the surrounding vicinity, as the largest private-sector employer north of Syracuse,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York State is committed to supporting the company’s success as reflected by our partnership for the continued supply of low-cost hydropower. The modernization of the Massena operations will further reinforce Alcoa’s commitment to the region and secure their long-term future, so that we can keep good jobs here in the North Country.”

Under the long-term power supply contract agreed to in 2008, Alcoa will invest a minimum of $600 million to modernize its Massena operations, in return for the low-cost hydropower. Alcoa also agreed to fund the NCEDF for economic development in St. Lawrence, Franklin, Essex, Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, and Herkimer counties and on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation. The company would establish the fund by June, with the money to be administered by NYPA and another entity specified by New York State.

Service under the new power supply contract commences on January 1, 2014, when the current contract expires, and extends to 2045. It includes an additional 10-year option to extend service beyond 2045.

Alcoa signed its original contract with the Power Authority in 1955, more than three years before St. Lawrence-FDR, the Authority’s first generating facility, began producing electricity.

The hydropower that Alcoa will receive under the new contract—478 megawatts of firm and interruptible power—corresponds with approximately 60 percent of St. Lawrence-FDR’s generating output.

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