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Empire State Development announces expansion of Praxair, retention of more than 1,100 jobs

by jmaloni


Tue, Jul 22nd 2014 01:25 pm

Praxair to further strengthen its state-of-the-art research center in Tonawanda

Empire State Development today announced Praxair Inc. will invest $38.7 million to further expand and modernize its Praxair Technology Center located in the town of Tonawanda. The expansion will result in 1,111 direct full-time jobs remaining in the town, as well as the creation of more than 22 new jobs.

Praxair, a Fortune 250 company, is one of the largest employers in Tonawanda, where the company's facility is responsible for global plant engineering, research and development, North American operations communications, global plant monitoring, customer demand monitoring, and fleet dispatch and back office support functions.

"ESD has partnered with Praxair to offer an incentive package that will help it expand and modernize its technical, research and development functions in New York state," said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "Praxair's expansion ensures a long-term commitment to the region and to the more than a thousand employees in the Western New York community who work at the facility."

To ensure the continued success of the Tonawanda facility and its role in helping drive strong operational and financial performance of Praxair and its customers, the company will complete a comprehensive facility upgrade. The renovations will enable Praxair to continue to develop cutting-edge technological advancements in the industrial gases industry, while also maintaining and even growing the workforce in Tonawanda.

New York state is offering Praxair a comprehensive incentive package that will help secure the long-term future of the company in Western New York. To encourage Praxair to proceed with its expansion in Tonawanda, ESD, the state's economic development agency, will provide up to $8 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and a $2 million capital grant, both which are tied directly to the company's job creation and investment commitments. The Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board has recommended a $500,000 grant from the New York Power Authority, which is contingent on NYPA trustee approval at its meeting later this month.

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "The planned expansion by Praxair is a testament to partnerships with state and local governments in support of this vital initiative. The expansion is great news for Western New York."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "This sizable investment at Praxair is another sign of the growing confidence that companies, both new and well established, have in Erie County. We are confident companies can grow and be successful in the new and increasingly vibrant Erie County economy."

State Sen. Mark Grisanti said, "As one of the best-performing industrial gas companies in the world, Praxair provides our community with good jobs and is a great corporate citizen. I'm pleased that New York state is providing the incentives needed to keep Praxair in Tonawanda for years to come."

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said, "I am very pleased that Praxair has announced this strategic investment in its Tonawanda facility. I am also glad to see state economic development programs that I've helped shape and fund in Albany as the Assembly's Economic Development Committee chair being utilized to help retain and create jobs right here in our community. Praxair has had a great relationship with town, county, state and federal officials, and has been an asset to this community - both in its involvement with community projects and as an employer to our residents. I look forward to continuing this relationship for many more years. "

Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony F. Caruana said, "Praxair has been a mainstay in our Town of Tonawanda for decades. With its advances in gas production and application technologies, and this expansion project with the states incentives, this Fortune 250 company will be an even greater contributor to our community by providing more good-paying jobs, boosting the local economy, and keeping this environmentally conscious neighbor here for many more years to come."

In March, New York announced Praxair was expanding its business and building a steam methane reformer to increase the supply of hydrogen for its liquid hydrogen plant in nearby Niagara Falls. That investment retained 78 jobs, and is serving growing customer needs for hydrogen in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S. and southeastern Canada. ESD awarded Praxair a $1 million capital grant to assist the company with its facility and equipment investment in Niagara Falls.

Praxair, with 2013 sales of $12 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. More information about Praxair is available at www.praxair.com.

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