Proposed green hydrogen production facility could bring 90 jobs to Massena

·3 min read

Jul. 27—MASSENA — A company with plans to construct a green hydrogen production facility in the Massena Industrial Park and create 90 jobs has been awarded 94 megawatts of low-cost St. Lawrence hydropower.

The allocation of 84 megawatts of preservation power for 10 years and 10 megawatts of preservation power for three years to Air Products and Chemicals Inc. was approved by the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees on Tuesday. The 10-megawatt allocation could be extended or replaced with another hydropower resource that becomes available.

Preservation Power is comprised of 490 megawatts of competitively priced hydropower generated at the St. Lawrence Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project that may be allocated to eligible businesses located in Franklin, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

Air Products is a manufacturer of industrial gases and chemicals serving a wide range of industries including health care, technology and clean energy. It is also a leading supplier of hydrogen. The American-based global industrial gases company has been in operation for more than 80 years.

Air Products is also a leading producer and supplier of green hydrogen, which is produced using water and electrolysis. It can be used as fuel for vehicles and other items, and to support manufacturing processes, which reduces carbon emissions in these sectors.

The company is proposing construction of a new facility for green hydrogen production, to produce gaseous and liquid hydrogen, in the Massena Industrial Park. Construction would begin in 2023 and would involve a capital investment expenditure of at least $550 million. That includes construction costs, in addition to machinery and equipment purchases such as electrolyzes and compressors.

As part of the agreement, Air Products would commit to creating 90 new permanent, full-time jobs over the 10-year term of the hydropower allocations. The average annual compensation and benefits for the jobs are estimated at $90,000 per job.

"Air Products continues to develop green hydrogen projects in key locations around the world. The low-cost hydropower makes this an attractive opportunity in New York, and to support New York's leadership ambition in energy transition programs, we submitted an application related to a potential project. We appreciate the support of NYPA and applaud the Governor's announcement as we continue our project development work," Ahmed Hababou, Air Products's vice president — green hydrogen said in a statement.

Green hydrogen produced at the Massena facility would be available to help support the state's transition to low and zero-carbon clean energy, helping to advance the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050.

"Allocations from the St. Lawrence Power Project attract large-scale community investment and deliver good-paying jobs to the North Country," Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA vice chairman and Massena resident said in a statement. "In supporting Air Products' expansion, NYPA is furthering New York's aggressive climate goals and helping to advance the state's vision of becoming a regional hydrogen hub."

Local officials said they were excited to hear the news.

"Preservation Power is a valuable resource that can help redevelop our economy and community. The village is very thankful for the allocation that will support green energy and job creation in Massena," Mayor Gregory M. Paquin said in a statement.

"The Town of Massena is excited for this major green hydrogen project that will create 90 high-paid head of household jobs in the growing renewable energy field. Projects like this one, provided by the commitment of the New York Power Authority, are giving our children a reason to stay in Massena and the North Country after graduation as well as an opportunity for those who left, to return. We appreciate the continued commitment of the Power Authority for seeking out new businesses and promoting the benefits of doing business in the North Country," Town Supervisor Susan J. Bellor said in a statement.

In addition, the NYPA board approved 16 megawatts of High Load Factor power that NYPA will procure for Air Products on the energy market.