A biomass facility in West Seneca that will turn organic waste into electricity will receive nearly $900,000 in tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.
The IDA approved the tax breaks Monday for Sustainable Bio Power, which plans to build a 2,000-square-foot renewable energy facility on North America Drive.
The biomass facility, which will be located on five acres, will have the capacity to generate up to one megawatt of electricity from as much as 50,000 tons of organic waste that currently is sent to landfills, said Alan Johnson, a representative of Quasar Energy Group, which is joining with Forest City Sustainable Resources on the project.
The facility, which is expected to take about four months to build, will have two tanks, along with equipment for electricity production and other operations. The plant, which is expected to have two to four full-time and three part-time employees, will use organic waste, such as food, fats, oils, greases and biosolids, to create methane, which will be used to generate electricity.
The project is expected to generate about $220,000 in additional tax revenue for Erie County, West Seneca and the West Seneca School District, during the seven years that the tax abatements are in effect, IDA officials said.
The agency also approved nearly $115,000 in sales and mortgage tax breaks for Wendt Manufacturing Corp.’s $1.65 million project to renovate the former Gibraltar Industries plant on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga and build a 4,800-square-foot addition for a paint booth.
The company also could receive additional property tax breaks if the renovations and the construction of the paint booth increase the assessed value of the property. The property tax breaks would apply to the increase in assessed value resulting from the project and would last for seven years, IDA officials said.
Wendt purchased the former Gibraltar factory in September 2011 and has been operating there since January. The metal fabricating company, which makes automobile shredders, also has a factory in the Town of Tonawanda. It now employs 36 people and expects to add nine jobs over the next two years.
The IDA also approved $89,500 in sales and mortgage tax breaks for Goldman Titanium, a Buffalo company that processes titanium scrap, for a $645,000 project that would extend its current Dorothy Street facility and add a processing center for solid titanium.
While Goldman Titanium has had at least five fires over the past 15 years, including a three-alarm blaze in July 2011, company officials said the new facility should be less of a fire risk because it will use less-volatile solid titanium, as opposed to the more volatile titanium turnings that the existing plant uses.
“This new project will not involve anything that’s volatile,” said Donald T. Ross, an attorney representing Goldman Titanium.
The company also has been working with the Buffalo Fire Department to develop a safety plan, said Goldman Titanium President Gary Greenfield.
The IDA’s affiliate, the Buffalo and Erie County Regional Development Agency, also approved a $750,000 low-interest loan to Linita Design & Manufacturing Corp., a Canadian-based business that opened a U.S. facility in 2009 after purchasing a building at 1951 Hamburg Turnpike from Gibraltar Industries.
Linita, which makes steel gates and other products to regulate the flow of water in and out of dams, will use the loan to help finance a $2.75 million expansion that involves the purchase of new equipment and working capital. The company, which has about $9 million in annual sales, plans to hire about 30 new workers for a local workforce that currently includes 45 people, IDA officials said.