NYPA board approves ALCOA deal | NCPR News – North Country Public Radio

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Alcoa plans to keep open its Forgings and Extrusions division, along with the casthouse, leaving about 220 people of 700 on the job. Photo: David Sommerstein.

The deal to keep ALCOA in Massena for the next seven years is now official.

The company will keep 450 jobs at its North Country aluminum smelter in exchange for 240 megawatts of cheap power per year.

Earlier this week, the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved the deal announced by Governor Cuomo last week. NYPA’s Chief Financial Officer Robert Lurie says one major difference from the deal negotiated in 2015 is the level of incentives.

Three years ago, the state provided almost $40 million to Alcoa as well as discounted power.

“Back in that deal we also threw the empire state development corporation assisted with Alcoa’s capital investment to modernize equipment at the plan, and they used that money to make those investments. That assistance is not part of this new deal moving forward,” Lurie said.

But one thing that will remain the same is the company’s power rate. Just like the previous deal, if the market price for aluminum rises, so will Alcoa’s power price. If the aluminum price falls, their electric bill will, too.

“Power is a huge component of their cost. Smelting is very power intensive, so the fact that our power price is tied that way to aluminum really helps the economics of that plant,” Lurie said.

The deal with Alcoa comes just months after NYPA secured a 10-year deal with another aluminum company, Aconic, which split from Alcoa two years ago and employs 150 people in Massena.

The Power Authority Board also announced another round of low-cost power allocations throughout the state. According to the Governor’s office, this will support 23 businesses and more than seven thousand jobs.