BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Dubai company is bringing more than 170 jobs to Buffalo with a new, $102 million steel making plant.
Alita USA Holdings Inc. will construct the plant along Rittling Boulevard in South Buffalo, according to a report in Business First. The newspaper also reports the CEO of the company chose Buffalo over Houston, Texas because it is "probably 25 percent" less expensive and is closer to the raw materials Alita needs to produce steel casings.
In a statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office, Alita CEO Ali Hosseini said, "We are pleased to announce that the Buffalo Niagara region is expected to be home to Alita USA's first U.S. OCTG manufacturing facility. Buffalo was once the heart of steel manufacturing in the U.S. and most of those factors, such as logistics, infrastructure and availability of a strong and talented workforce, that made the city ideal for manufacturing remain true today."
Business First reports documents the company filed with the NYPA show the average employee at the new plant will earn, with benefits, around $72,000 a year. The plant is expected to open by mid-2015.
Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Howard Zemsky said, "If you think about our region, we have low-cost hydropower, we have all these economic development tools that are focused on advanced manufacturing, we have logisitcal advantages that we offer people, we have a skilled work force. So we have a lot to offer companies and it's not surprising in a way that metals are coming back."
The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise has been working since September to bring Alita to Western New York. The Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board has awarded $2 million in funding to the company, and the Excelsior Jobs Program offered $6.4 million in tax credits.
"We're a little bit ahead of schedule as far as landing this company, but it has everything they need for this project," said Buffalo Niagara Enterprise CEO Tom Kucharski.
The NYPA Trustees are expected to consider a low-cost power allocation to support the plant, and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency is also expected to offer a $2 million "forgivable loan" towards development costs.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "We're going to be getting a lot back from this investment. Yes, we are putting public dollars on table. But in today's day and age, you have to put public dollars on the table to make these types of transactions happen."
The proposed plant still needs approval from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and final site acquisition.
"We would like to thank the State of New York, Erie County and Buffalo Niagara Enterprise for the tremendous support to bring this project to New York. With their support we are confident that Alita USA will be the most successful and competitive manufacturing facility for the production of high grade OCTG in the U.S," Hosseini stated.
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