Hydropower allocation triggers New York plant expansion

The New York Power Authority has agreed to provide four MW of low-cost hydropower to Metaullics Systems, a move that could create as many as 48 new jobs at the company’s plant in Sanborn, N.Y.

The low-cost hydropower will support a $19 million expansion of the Sanborn plant and will boost the production of processed graphite, a material used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

“This is a marvelous opportunity to support the significant contributions of a company that through this expansion will play a vital role in the production of advanced lithium batteries for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles,” said Richard Kessel, NYPA’s president and chief executive officer.

Kevin Scott, Metaullics’ operations manager, said the allocation of low-cost hydropower is the chief reason for the doing the expansion at the Sanborn plant instead of other plant locations owned by Metaullics’ parent company, Spokane, Wash.-based Pyrotek.

“The low-cost power demonstrates New York State’s recognition of the value of this enterprise for adding jobs in western New York and for helping to advance a highly efficient battery technology for the mass production of electric-drive vehicles,” Scott said.

Metaullics is adding 72,600 square feet of manufacturing space to its Sanborn plant. In August, the company received $11.3 million in federal stimulus funds to help finance the expansion. The money is part of a $2.4 billion allocation by the U.S. Department of Energy for accelerating the development of electric-drive vehicles.

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