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Republic Steel is getting 600 kilowatts of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority in connection with the steel producer’s $5 million project to renovate its Lackawanna bar mill and bring in new equipment.

The expansion is expected to create 26 new jobs at Republic’s Lackawanna mill, which currently employs 283 people.

The Power Authority, at its board meeting earlier this month, also approved low-cost electricity for Saturn Petcare, which had planned to make wet and dry dog and cat food at the former AFA Foods plant in Ashville in Chautauqua County, but local officials said the project has fallen through.

“The project simply went away,” said Bill Daly, the administrative director of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, which had worked closely with Saturn Petcare’s German parent company, Heristo Group, to bring the $21 million project – and 80 jobs – to the abandoned factory.

“It could still happen in Chautauqua County or New York State, but not at that site,” Daly said.

Saturn Petcare, which estimated it would need about 200,000 gallons of water each day, backed away from the project last month after determining that the existing water supply for the plant was inadequate and that the pet food operation would require the construction of a costly new water line to the site.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com