St. Lawrence County IDA praises NYPA for power deal to help Potsdam Specialty Papers Inc. expand
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 11:38 am

CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is praising the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for its 400-kilowatt hydropower allocation to Potsdam Specialty Papers Inc. (PSPI).

With the allocation, PSPI will be undertaking an expansion project at its Potsdam facility, creating 22 new jobs and making $2 million in capital investments.

As part of its ongoing business retention and expansion efforts, the IDA met with the company a number of times last summer and referred them to NYPA for an application for NYPA’s Preservation Power program.

IDA Vice Chair Ernie LaBaff comments on the allocation, “We are extremely pleased that the Power Authority has made this allocation.

This project will help a long-time St. Lawrence County operation become stronger and more competitive, while adding good jobs in the County.”

The expansion includes the installation of a new production line, which will allow PSPI to enhance production capacity and efficiency and create new products.

This is not the first time the IDA has worked to help the Potsdam mill. In fact, the relationship goes back to 1977 when the Agency was instrumental in assisting in the mill’s reopening after ithad been closed in 1974 by Nekoosa Edwards, its owner at the time.

In 2008, the IDA assembled a financing package of $800,000 consisting of funds from the IDA Local Development Corporation, the Town of Potsdam, the Greater Massena Economic Development Fund and the Development Authority of the North Country.

That funding was part of a financing package that assisted the current mill ownership to acquire the facility from previous owner Meadwestvaco.

Potsdam Specialty Paper, Inc. General Manager Doug Drumm comments, “This is a very exciting time for PSPI and a critical step towards securing our competitive advantage and foothold in the markets that we currently serve.

We are continually challenged by many external factors that cannot be overcome with traditional efficiency improvement efforts alone. This expansion will allow us to provide more value add to our customers and control more of the supply chain.

As a result, we anticipate capturing even more market share than we currently have. Additionally, we’re excited about the potential and capability this new equipment will bring to us and look forward to pursuing new business opportunities as well.

We are very thankful for programs such as Preservation Power and ReChargeNY, which was previously awarded to us. It’s these programs and the solid working relationships we have with both the IDA and NYPA that make this possible for us.

We consider ourselves a premier employer in the North Country and look forward to solidifying that claim for years to come with this project”

LaBaff summarizes the relationship with the mill, “we’ve helped reopen this mill, we’ve helped keep it going, and now we’re pleased to work with the Power Authority to help it grow. Congratulations to them and to the mill’s owners, management team and workers for moving this project forward.”