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LOW-COST POWER OK'D FOR FIVE WNY FIRMS

The New York Power Authority on Tuesday approved new or existing allocations of electricity it says will create or maintain 4,532 jobs at five Western New York companies.

Combined, the authority approved new allocations totaling 6,082 kilowatts of electricity, and extended a soon-to-expire 4,000-kilowatt allocation.

The four firms receiving new allocations will save more than $1.72 million annually in power costs.

Computer product distributor Ingram Micro Inc. was allocated 1,500 kilowatts of expansion power and in exchange has promised to create an additional 1,500 jobs and protect 1,257 existing positions at its Amherst and Buffalo operations. It will save $471,348 annually with the allocation.

The company is in the middle of an expansion project topping $30 million near its current Wehrle Drive complex.

General Motors Corp.'s Powertrain expansion project in Tonawanda was awarded 1,100 kilowatts of expansion power, which supports 800 kilowatts of power allocated in June 1996. Both allocations are based on GM's commitment to create 510 new jobs. The new allocation represents an annual savings of $417,324.

GM is investing $290 million at the Powertrain complex for a new facility and equipment in preparation for assembly of the automaker's new so-called world class engine.

Euro United Corp., a Brookville, Ont.-based plastic furniture manufacturer, will create 500 jobs as part of its $100 million project to convert Tops Markets Inc.'s former Fuhrmann Boulevard warehouse into a manufacturing facility.

To assist the firm, the Power Authority allocated 1,400 kilowatts of expansion power, which follows a 1,000-kilowatt replacement power allocation approved in August. The power allotment will save the firm $554,820 in electric costs.

The Power Authority trustees extended a 4,000-kilowatt allocation through the year 2006 to Al Tech Specialty Steel in Dunkirk. The allocation was set to expire this month.

The extension, coupled with an additional 2,800-kilowatt allocation of expansion power approved earlier, secures 695 jobs at the stainless steel manufacturer's Dunkirk plant.

Monofrax Inc. of Falconer will receive a 2,082-kilowatt allocation in exchange for maintaining its 380-person work force. The Power Authority allocation will save the firm $280,873 per year in electricity costs.

The firm makes material that lines furnaces used to produce glass products.

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