U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today pushed for federal economic recovery dollars for the Auburn Biodiesel Corporation to develop and expand the ports at Oswego and Montezuma, New York, to add new biodiesel capabilities at both locations. The federal dollars would be allocated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which Senator Gillibrand helped pass earlier this year. The project is expected create up to 300 long-term jobs and provide an economic boost for local farmers, according to the Port of Oswego.
"During these tough economic times, we must make strategic investments that will create good paying jobs right here at home," said Senator Gillibrand. "This is a great example of public-private partnership here in Central New York that can deliver long term economic opportunity in our communities. The proposal by Auburn Biodiesel is truly a win-win-win for New York - our farmers would have a new market, we would create much needed jobs, and we would be investing in renewable fuel and inter-modal transportation."
Jonathan Daniels, the Port Director at Oswego, said, "The addition of the facilities this grant will enable, and advantages that our partnership with Auburn BioDiesel Corp. will bring, will make our Port truly competitive with the Ports of Newark, Baltimore and New York - and we will have important advantages."
Auburn Biodiesel Corporation's proposal would add biodiesel fueling stations that use the nanotech innovation of Cerion Energy, Inc.'s "Nanoburn" for distribution. These infrastructure enhancements will provide a unique Northeast facility that uses alternative energy technologies for much needed transportation improvements. The collaboration between the Port of Oswego - the oldest freshwater port in the county, built in 1799 - and the start-up Port and Soy Processing business planned for the ADM property in Montezuma would enable the inland Canal port at Montezuma to expand the space and services of Oswego's deep-water Port.
The federal funding would be used for a substantial increase in Oswego space and loading facilities, and the Montezuma Port, enabling offloading of international shipments at Oswego directly to Canal barges, which would then be transferred to either rail or truck at Montezuma.
The expansion and redevelopment of both ports would provide the Great Lakes and New York State Canal System with shipping, rail and trucking services in a combination not found anywhere in the Northeast. Expanded facilities would help Oswego capture more business that currently uses larger ports elsewhere. Oswego would have a competitive edge, since larger ports on the east coast face congestion and time-delay issues. For example, the large volume of grain, salt and other commodities shipped out of the Finger Lakes Region could be stored, loaded and shipped from Montezuma, then transferred to deep-water shipping at Oswego - headed for Canada and other international customers.
In addition, Auburn BioDiesel would give the Oswego facility a "green" fuel for shipping and large pleasure boats that frequent the port. The distribution of large-volume BioDiesel would be beneficial to the shipping industry that relies almost entirely on diesel engines. BioDiesel would reduce the harmful emissions from the 4 billion gallons of petroleum Diesel used each year by New York State.
In a letter to Ray LaHood, Secretary of DOT, Senator Gillibrand wrote, "This proposal embodies all of the elements of regional economic development, multi-modal transportation improvement, permanent job creation, alternative energy development and good stewardship. New York State and the Northeast Region will clearly benefit from a one-time investment of $160 million that will deliver at least $550 million of annual economic stimulus to the region and beyond. As the project delivers New York's first fully-integrated soybean crushing and biodiesel production facility with the fuel improvements of "Nanoburn," these facilities will serve as national examples, offering benefits to the region, state and country."