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Sumitomo gets cheap power for expansion

Sumitomo Rubber USA's $87 million plan to double the tire production capacity of its Town of Tonawanda factory is getting an allocation of cheap hydropower from the New York Power Authority.

The authority approved the allocation of 1.5-megawatts of low-cost hydropower for an expansion that will allow Sumitomo to increase its passenger tire capacity to 10,000 tires a day from the current 5,000. The project also will involve the installation of energy efficient air compressors and LED lighting.

The expansion is expected to create 30 new jobs at a factory that currently employs 1,240 workers.

The authority also approved a $150,000 grant to Triad Recycling and Energy Corp. in Tonawanda for its $1 million expansion project that includes the installation of a wind turbine. The project is expected to create three new jobs at a company that currently employs 15 people.

The Triad funding comes from a fund administered by the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board, which distributes money raised from the sale of unallocated hydropower from the Niagara Power Project for economic development projects.

$87 million investment will expand Tonawanda tire plant

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