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National Grid Grant Assists Expansion Plans | Business

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National Grid Grant Assists Expansion Plans
National Grid Grant Assists  Expansion Plans

National Grid today awarded a $250,000 grant from its Strategic Economic Development Outreach program to Unifrax to assist in that company’s $6.9 million expansion project that was recently completed at its Tonawanda facility.  The economic development grant was an influential factor for Unifrax for selecting the Tonawanda site for the expansion as various other international and domestic locations also were considered.

“National Grid is pleased that our investment in Unifrax will help retain 144 good jobs in the region,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid in Western New York.  “The opportunity to help a company strengthen its market position and solidify its operations in Western New York were key factors we considered in awarding this grant.” 

The expansion will allow Unifrax to support its worldwide leadership position within the catalytic converter mat marketplace and to continue to grow its industry market share.  The $6.9 million expansion project included construction of a new state-of-the-art warehouse, electric delivery service infrastructure upgrades, lab upgrades and the purchasing of the latest equipment technology. 

"Our Tonawanda facility was one of several international Unifrax locations that was under consideration for the company’s proposed expansion project,” said David E. Brooks, president and CEO, Unifrax.  "In addition to our existing production expertise and quality workforce, the economic grant provided by National Grid helped contribute to our decision to expand the Tonawanda site."

The grant to Unifrax is part of National Grid’s upstate New York economic development plan, which maintains a strong focus on site development, community revitalization, strategic marketing, and facilitating customer growth through infrastructure assistance, energy efficiency and productivity improvement. The plan also reflects an increasing emphasis on sustainable development, the efficient use of existing energy infrastructure, and the strategic deployment of renewable generation technologies.

Unifrax, with corporate headquarters in Niagara Falls, New York, is a leading global manufacturer of ceramic fiber insulation products used in many high-temperature industrial, automotive and fire protection applications.  The company has 18 manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and employs approximately 1,300 people worldwide.  

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.

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