MASSENA, N.Y. (AP) — Alcoa reached a deal with the New York Power Authority to continue providing low-cost hydroelectric power for the company's aluminum smelting plant in northern New York, securing hundreds of jobs, New York officials said Thursday.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the seven-year agreement will keep the jobs of 450 workers at the smelting operations in Massena, on the St. Lawrence River 165 miles (265 kilometers) northwest of Albany.
The two Democrats worked with the company to reach a $30 million low-cost power deal in November 2015 after Pittsburgh-based Alcoa announced it planned to close the plant. That agreement was scheduled to expire at the end of the month.
The announcement came amid fears that Alcoa would close its Massena operations, a move that would devastate an area of the state already struggling economically.
"The entire Massena community can breathe a big sigh of relief and look to the future," Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said in a statement.
Cuomo, who traveled to the Massena plant for the announcement, said the deal also protects 145 jobs at Arconic, an Alcoa spin-off company located at the same facility.
He noted how the plant, opened in 1902, contributed to the growth of the aviation and aerospace industries. The new deal calls for the Power Authority to provide electricity from a power plant on the St. Lawrence to Alcoa at a price that keeps hundreds of jobs in Massena, Cuomo told state and local officials, Alcoa executives and union workers.
He said he wanted "to applaud every man and women who works in this plant, because the quality of your product and your skill and your talent is the asset that keeps Alcoa here at the end of the day."