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Nature's Bounty to invest $33 million in LI vitamin factories

Asia Dawood boxes containers of fish oil softgels

Asia Dawood boxes containers of fish oil softgels at a Nature's Bounty plant in Bohemia. Credit: Barry Sloan

Nature’s Bounty Co., one of Suffolk County’s largest employers, plans to invest $33 million in new equipment, parking lots and other improvements to its vitamin manufacturing facilities, state officials said Tuesday.

The company is one of 12 local recipients of new allocations of low-cost electricity from the state Power Authority, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced. The others include Ascent Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Central Islip, Central Suffolk Hospital in Riverhead and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.

The ReCharge NY allocations are for seven years and can save companies thousands of dollars annually on their utility bills.

Cuomo said the electricity is produced by dams near Niagara Falls and along the St. Lawrence River in upstate, not plants burning fossil fuels.

"Clean energy is our future...[and ReCharge NY] not only combats climate change but also creates jobs and spurs economic growth throughout the state," he said in a statement.

In return for 2,966 kilowatts of cheap power, Nature’s Bounty has promised to preserve 1,924 jobs at its Ronkonkoma headquarters and 10 other facilities in Suffolk. The company has been receiving low-cost electricity for several years.

Company spokeswoman Amy Von Walter said it would make the plant upgrades over five years.

A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes.

Among the latest power recipients, Nature’s Bounty was awarded the largest allocation and committed to retaining the most employees.

Ascent Pharmaceuticals Inc. has pledged to create the most jobs – 90 – in return for an allocation of 1,106 kilowatts. The manufacturer of generic drugs currently has 215 people on its payroll.

Ascent plans to invest $5 million in its Central Islip plant for an addition and more equipment. The company is partially owned by Hetero, an India-based drugmaker started by Dr. BPS Reddy, who also owns Evaric Pharmaceutical in Hauppauge, according to records of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

Central Suffolk Hospital has promised the largest investment among the ReCharge NY recipients; it will spend $70 million on a new cardiac intensive care unit. The project will add 27 jobs to the hospital’s payroll of 1,072.

The 12 employers, as a group, have promised to invest $154 million in their operations. They will create 200 jobs and preserve nearly 4,800 in return for receiving about 7,000 kilowatts.

The other power recipients are Enzo Biochem Inc. in Farmingdale, Little Bird Kitchen in Plainview, Nassau Candy Distributors Inc. in Hicksville, Posillico Materials LLC in Farmingdale, Positive Promotions Inc. in Hauppauge, Roman Stone Construction Co. in Bay Shore, United Baking Co. Inc. in Islip and WestRock-Southern Container LLC in Deer Park.

Power Authority CEO Gil C. Quiniones said the agency is committed to providing "operational support to businesses" by reducing their electric costs.

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