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THREE AREA FIRMS FAILED TO REACH POWER-FOR-JOBS COMMITMENTS

Three Niagara Frontier companies have had their power allocations reduced for failing to reach their promised employment levels, the New York Power Authority announced Tuesday.

An additional eight Western New York firms received no cutbacks based on their potential to grow their work forces, while two Buffalo companies already are at the minimum power allocation figure but are providing substantial employment.

The job figures were released as part of the Power Authority's annual report, which shows power allocations tied to job commitments. In 1996, 182 firms receiving low-cost Power Authority electricity protected 146,427 jobs, exceeding their commitments by 17,000 jobs or 13 percent.

Recipients of Power Authority electricity are required to maintain 80 percent to 90 percent of their job commitments, depending on the category of power allocated, which can be expansion, replacement or economic development power. Employment levels must be reported annually after an initial three-year grace period.

The firms that had their allocation and job commitment numbers reduced include:

Leica Inc., a Depew microscope and ophthalmic instrument maker, had average 1996 employment of 332, or 79 percent of its 420-person commitment to the Power Authority. Because it is required to maintain 90 percent of its commitment, Power Authority trustees reduced Leica's allocation to 450 kilowatts from 600 kilowatts, and its job commitment to 315 from 420.

Quebecor Printing Buffalo Inc. of Depew had average 1996 employment of 1,133, which is 71 percent of its 1,592-person commitment. In February, Quebecor voluntarily relinquished 1,300 kilowatts of its 5,300-kilowatt allotment, and agreed to a 900-job commitment.

At Tuesday's trustees meeting, the job commitment and power allocation figures were officially reduced to 900 and 4,000 kilowatts.

Niagara Industrial Warehouse, a Niagara Falls plastics recycler, reported average 1996 employment of 44 jobs, just 63 percent of its 70-person commitment. The Power Authority trustees reduced its allocation to 350 kilowatts from 600 kilowatts and its job commitment to 44.

The eight Western New York firms that failed to meet their job commitments, but were found to be within reach of their projections and thus did not receive power cutbacks, included:

Dunlop Tire Corp. of Amherst, in two separate allocations totaling 6,250 kilowatts of power, averaged 2,838 jobs in 1996, 85.6 percent of its 3,315-job commitment.

Occidental Chemical Corp. committed to 1,232 jobs in exchange for 16,000 kilowatts of replacement power. In 1996, the Niagara Falls firm averaged 902 jobs or 73 percent of its commitment.

Steuben Foods Corp. of Elma committed to 500 jobs in return for 5,000 kilowatts of expansion power, but averaged 431 jobs or 86 percent of its commitment in 1996.

Westwood Squibb Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Buffalo committed to 705 jobs in exchange for 500 kilowatts of replacement power. In 1996, the firm averaged 572 employees or 81 percent of its commitment.

Ceres Corp., a Niagara Falls cubic zirconia processor, pledged to the Power Authority to create or maintain 83 jobs in exchange for 1,300 kilowatts of replacement power. It averaged 64 jobs or 77 percent of its commitment.

LeRoy Industries, a Genesee County maker of automobile components, committed to 312 jobs in exchange for 1,300 kilowatts of economic development power. In 1996, the firm averaged 261 jobs or 84 percent of its commitment.

Markin Tubing of Pearl Creek, Wyoming County, a specialty steel tubing manufacturer, committed to 145 jobs in exchange for 1,200 kilowatts of economic development power. In 1996, the firm averaged 120 positions, 83 percent of its commitment.

SGL Carbon Corp., a carbon and graphite product producer, committed to 188 jobs in exchange for 3,200 kilowatts of replacement power. Last year the Niagara Falls firm averaged 118 jobs or 63 percent of its pledge.

The two firms already at the minimum 250-kilowatt allocation level are Sorrento Cheese Co. Inc. and Trico Products Corp., both of Buffalo.

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