Industry News

Governor Grants USD 3 Mn Funds for Bioscience Manufacturing Center at Eastman Business Park

Published on 2014-02-27. Author : SpecialChem

ALBANY, NY -- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the State will commit $3 million to the Eastman Business Park (EBP) Bioscience Manufacturing Center in Rochester which will begin construction later this year. The construction of the $25 million, 60,000 square feet facility, which will improve equipment for converting non-food plant materials into biofuels and biochemicals, is estimated to create hundreds of new jobs. The Eastman Business Park is the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council's (FLREDC) top priority and is a crucial asset in both job creation and economic development in the region. The Governor made the announcement today in a visit to Rochester, where he also outlined his 2014-15 Executive Budget.

"This year, we are building on the successes of the past three years, lowering taxes for residents and businesses and creating new economic opportunities across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "Here in Rochester, we are committing an investment of $3 million to support the construction of a $25 million Bioscience Manufacturing Center at Eastman Business Park. This investment will create hundreds of new jobs for the community, grow the local economy and position the Finger Lakes region as a leader in the renewable energy industry. Under our budget plan, we will continue to make economic development and job creation in Upstate New York a top priority, while making important investments to improve our education system, fortify the state's infrastructure and build stronger communities."

Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, "On behalf of Governor Cuomo, I have had many conversations with companies that require access to the type of equipment being installed at the new Bioscience Manufacturing Center at the Eastman Business Park. This new Center will provide a huge boost to the community by attracting such companies, along with the investments and jobs that they will bring. I thank the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, our partners in government and Governor Cuomo for their dedication to growing the Greater Rochester economy."

The project will consist of transportation infrastructure improvements and the production, fermentation tanks and storage equipment necessary to convert feedstock into C5 and C6 sugars. These sugars can then be employed in the manufacture of a wide range of green chemicals, biodegradable plastics, and biofuels. Once operational, the center will be capable of processing up to 30,000 tons of sugars annually. In addition, the partnership between New York State and the EBP Bioscience Manufacturing Center builds upon the state's ongoing effort to pursue and improve access to renewable energy.

The industrial facility will be owned and operated by EBP EcoTech Park Operating Corp, a consortium of partner companies who will provide the majority of funding for the project. Several companies, including three out-of-state businesses, have indicated interest in using the center and intend either to expand or locate operations at Eastman Business Park as a result.

"As a development company with expertise in the operations of biobased technologies, EcoTech is very pleased to be involved in the design and implementation of this fermentation cluster facility at EBP," said Stephen Healey, president and CEO of EcoTech. "We believe this will drive a revitalization at the Park in the field of biomaterials manufacturing, by adding a critical capability to the tremendous infrastructure already present on site."

"Eastman Business Park is our region's top priority and our goal is for it to become one of the nation's preeminent industrial parks for technological innovation," said FLREDC Co-Chairs, University at Rochester President Joel Seligman and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman. "Today's announcement furthers EBP's growth and will accelerate the EBP Bioscience Manufacturing Center, advancing the Governor's commitment in Eastman Business Park and the Greater Rochester region."

"The Eastman Business Park in Rochester is integral to the region's economic future," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "I am pleased that with Governor Cuomo's leadership and this new partnership between New York State and the EBP Bioscience Manufacturing Center, the park is receiving the short and long-term support it needs to become a major economic driver in Monroe County."

Significant progress has been made in resolving the obstacles to the Eastman Business Park's future growth, enabling it to attract new companies and helping meet the goal of creating 1,800 jobs over the next five years at the site. In 2013, Kodak and the state agreed to a global settlement that addressed environmental legacy issues at the site; the Park's utility systems were acquired, ensuring stability for the Park's tenants; and Kodak emerged from bankruptcy and committed to maintain significant operations and jobs at the site. The FLREDC believes the Park has turned a corner and is ready to become one of the nation's preeminent industrial parks for technological innovation.

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle said, "For the past three years, my colleagues in the legislature and I have been working alongside Governor Cuomo to move New York State forward, taking necessary steps to repair and restore the state's economy. Governor Cuomo's budget outlines a plan to build on the stability of our communities for years to come by offering property tax relief to homeowners and business owners, and new incentives to support and promote local development projects. For Rochester, that includes the funding that will go towards the Bioscience Manufacturing Center--a project that will create new jobs. This year, we are going to continue to work together to move New York in the right direction."

Senator Joseph Robach said, "As a result of three on-time, fiscally responsible budgets, we have built a strong foundation to continue growing the State's economy with investments like today's announcement. This investment in Eastman Business Park is key to improving the area and will help make Rochester a leader in bioscience technology and innovation, while creating much-needed jobs for the community. I greatly appreciate Governor Cuomo's commitment to Rochester, and look forward to working with him to pass another budget that serves the people of New York."

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "Simply put, the investments made at Eastman Business Park will help stimulate our local economy and put people back to work in good paying jobs. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this great project. As mayor, I look forward to many more opportunities to partner with the State to boost Rochester's economy and strengthen communities across our city."

Eastman Business Park (EBP), formerly Kodak Park, is a massive 1,200 acre technology and industrial complex that spans from the City of Rochester into the Town of Greece in Monroe County. EBP has more than one million square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and warehouse space with infrastructure systems that put it among the top industrial sites in the eastern United States. Under Governor Cuomo, more than $90 million has been committed and invested by New York State to attract dozens of new companies that are transforming EBP into a diverse hub for research and development (R&D) and high tech manufacturing. The park now has 48 companies with more than 6,500 employees, most of which are non-Kodak jobs.

Kodak President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio M. Perez said, "The creation of a bioscience manufacturing center at Eastman Business Park is a critical first step to the build-out of a full biomaterials ecosystem here, which will contribute to the continuing revitalization of Rochester and the region. We appreciate our partnership with Governor Cuomo and other elected officials."

Brad W. Kruchten, President of Kodak Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films, said, "EBP is the perfect place to locate a facility such as this. The Park's set of fermenting tanks, sterilization tanks, pumps, separation equipment, seed tanks, product storage and air compressors will allow upstream sugar suppliers to convert their materials into high-value products, such as biochemicals and bioplastics. This site also has access to three biorefineries, our specialty chemicals pilot and manufacturing capabilities – as well as waste water treatment facilities, water and rail access. All the physical pieces will now exist, but more importantly, all the technical talent needed is also present at EBP."

The Governor also outlined his 2014-15 Executive Budget, which continues the fiscal discipline of the past three years by holding spending increases to below two percent, while also reducing taxes by more than $2 billion by 2016-17.

About Eastman Business Park

Eastman Business Park is home to manufacturing, tenant and site infrastructure facilities, with several facilities currently for sale and/or lease, along with space for new buildings and development. Kodak currently has 2.5M sq. ft. of existing facility space of virtually all types, and over 300 acres of developable property for commercial or industrial use.

Source: Eastman Business Park

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