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Canadian company gets cheap NY power for LI expansion

Ropack Inc., a Canadian pharmaceutical company looking to expand to Long Island, was awarded low-cost electricity Thursday by New York State in return for promising to invest more than $40 million and create 130 jobs.

The company is among six on Long Island to receive discounted electricity from the state Power Authority in its 12th round of allocations under the ReCharge NY program. Together, the businesses will hire 369 people, retain 529 more and invest $47 million in their operations, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday.

The companies, as a group, will use 1,828 kilowatts of low-cost power. A thousand kilowatts are capable of powering 800 to 1,000 homes.

Ropack received the largest allocation -- 710 kilowatts -- and will spend the most on equipment and construction. The business will occupy two buildings in Hauppauge, where it will manufacture, package and test drugs for pharmaceutical giants.

Last month, Ropack's vice president of marketing and business development, Paul Dupont, said the Suffolk buildings' nearly new condition made them attractive. The previous owner, drugmaker Forest Laboratories Inc., is moving its local operation to New Jersey after being taken over by another drugmaker.

"We anticipate a lot of success in the coming years," Dupont told the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, which is providing $3 million in tax breaks over 15 years.

RUI, a debt collection agency based in Melville, will do the most hiring among the power recipients. The agency plans to create 200 jobs and invest $800,000 in a second building, also in Melville, in return for 210 kilowatts over seven years, according to its aid application.

RUI officials declined to comment Thursday.

The others receiving help from the Power Authority and their expansion plans are:

Citation Business Forms Inc. was awarded 140 kilowatts in return for investing $1 million in Hauppauge and adding 10 people to its payroll of 57.

Crystorama Inc. will use 10 kilowatts for its Westbury operation, where $250,000 is to be invested and 43 jobs retained.

Precipart Group Inc. will receive 266 kilowatts in return for spending $1.4 million in Farmingdale and adding four jobs to its payroll of 204.

Summit Plastics Inc. will use 492 kilowatts at its Bay Shore facility, where $1.7 million in improvements are planned and 25 employees will be added to a workforce of 225.

"We are supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the state -- a number that only grows as more businesses and nonprofit organizations apply for low-cost power," Cuomo said Thursday.

Gil Quiniones, the authority's chief executive, said more than 85 percent of the low-cost electricity has been allocated so far.

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