Chris Mallon, International Paper Ticonderoga Mill Manager, speaks during a press conference to announce a partnership with the New York Power Authority as part of the ReCharge NY Program.
International Paper’s Ticonderoga Mill and the State of New York are partnering to keep energy bills low.
The New York Power Authority and executives at the Mill joined together to announce a new partnership through the ReCharge NY program, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to support business growth by providing low-cost power.
The mill will also be the beneficiary of financial awards of $1 million and $750,000, respectively, from Empire State Development, (ESD) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to support the $11.4 million conversion of the facility’s power boiler and lime kiln from No. 6 fuel oil to natural gas.
Officials said by allocating 7.8 megawatts of low cost power, the state would be helping to support $100 million in capital improvements at mill along with helping to retain the 600 existing jobs at the facility.
“This is an exciting time in the life and history of the Ticonderoga Mill,” Ticonderoga Mill Manager Chris Mallon said. “We feel that we are well positioned for the future with the help of the ReCharge NY program.”
“This is one of the most significant businesses in the North Country,” said Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO of (NYPA). “ReCharge NY is a great example of what can happen with the public and private sector working together. IP’s impact on Essex County is substantial as the largest employer in the county and we are helping a business remain competitive and continue to provide the families and communities here with quality jobs.”
Quiniones said the Ticonderoga Mill has over half its energy coming from renewable resources.
“Sustainability is one of our core values,” IP Vice President and General Manager, Imaging and Commercial Printing Papers John Sims said. “This helps to secure jobs for this mills and for other mills.”
“This is not just about power but about empowerment,” North Country Regional Economic Development Council co-chair Gary Douglas said. “We felt that this was a priority project and everyone in the state has really responded to what we feel are the priorities that we feel need to be addressed.”
Douglas also spoke on the potential for a natural gas pipeline coming to the plant through Addison County, Vt.
“The next step is natural gas and we have to get that here,” Douglas said. “That will be the next significant event that will ensure the next 100 years and more of quality paper production in Ticonderoga.”
Arnold Ross, Jr., President of United Steel Workers Local 497, said the partnership was welcomed news for the employees.
“The result is that we have a solid team to work together with and we will work together diligently to reduce our energy consumption,” Ross said. “It is exciting to be a part of this new partnership. It is nice to have the government back the people in the community with programs that will help us move forward into the future.”
Ross also talked about the importance of the mill in the region and community.
“This mill is an extension of our community,” he said. “It is a business but the people are an extended family. Some of my younger friends here at work are people I coached on little league and when they ask me if they have a future working here, I can now tell them that yes, they do, thanks to partnerships like this.”