MASSENA — There will be plenty of paperwork to complete before Air Products’s proposed “Mass…
MASSENA — A section of land on Pontoon Bridge Road will become the site of Air Products’ “Massena Green Hydrogen Project” if all goes according to plans.
That was the word from Air Products officials, who discussed their proposed $500 million project with the Massena Town Planning Board on Tuesday.
“We’re at Pontoon Road and (Route) 131. We’re about 1 mile south of that. This was the land that was previously owned by Tony Zappia,” said Jonathan Traynor, project director and senior project manager for Air Products.
He said employee parking will be in a lot outside the facility.
“This is part of our security assessment. Everybody that comes into the facility is badged. Otherwise, they have to be visitors and they’ll be escorted in. We do have a gate here that will be a gate around the whole facility. That gate will actually be installed during the site preparation stage. So, the facility is secure,” Mr. Traynor said.
The site will contain a control room.
“This is where the operation is basically held and all the computers controlling the facility,” he said.
A designated entrance will be for trucks.
“Trucks will only be coming through this entrance. All of our trucks leaving will be turning right. We have done a traffic study coming out of the facility and going up Pontoon Road and 131,” Mr. Traynor said.
Trailer storage will also be on the site, along with a building that houses two compressors which take the liquid hydrogen, compress it, and pump it into storage tanks.
Water will come into an electrolyzer building, where the hydrogen and oxygen are separated. A water treatment building will purify water as it comes into the facility before circulating it for cooling water and then returning it to the power canal.
“All the water coming in and out is being drawn from the village of Massena. It’s going to be coming from their treatment plant off of Pontoon Road as well. It will be used as cooling water and then returned to the power canal,” Mr. Traynor said.
Four reserve storage tanks will hold the liquid hydrogen for disbursement into the trailers coming into the facility. The site plan also includes a guard facility, terminal building, trailer storage area, and a swipe gate for trucks.
“We do all of our own maintenance on our trucks as well as the trailers. Trailers will come in here, maintenance will be performed on them, and they’ll be stored in one of these areas,” he said, pointing out the locations on a map of the site.
Mr. Traynor said noise should not be an issue.
“We are maintaining a very low limit for noise. We don’t want to be impactful to the surrounding area as well. So, with everything inside, it’s kind of one of those out of sight, out of mind approaches to this,” he said.
He said they’re “shooting for Aug. 1 mobilization.”
“What that is going to accomplish this year is just clearing the site and leveling the site and establishing grade,” Mr. Traynor said. “We’re looking at upwards of 50 craft on site clearing. That’s more heavy equipment. We’re just getting rid of trees, getting rid of stumps, leveling the site and installing everything in 2024.”
They plan an early start in 2024, including the construction of foundations, and establishment of entrances and interior roads. A site will be established to park trailers and other vehicles.
“We are trying to be self-contained. We do not want all the guys that are coming in for this project to be driving through town, parking through town and being bused to the site. So, we have areas reserved on site. They will park on site, they’ll remain on site, and at the end of the day they leave.”
Mr. Traynor said their goal is to have their three primary buildings up by the end of 2024.
“Because of the weather, we can work on the inside here In 2024. We’ll see our traffic numbers go up to about 250 plus or minus,” he said.
They plan to start wrapping up construction in 2025, with start-up scheduled for March through August of 2026.
“The project is scheduled to be online by Q1 of 2027, but we are looking to have everything wrapped up by Q3 of 2026,” he said.
Once the project starts, Mr. Traynor said they anticipate about 90 full-time jobs. They’ll be fully staffed by the time they’re online in 2026, he said.
Air Products is a manufacturer of industrial gases and chemicals serving a wide range of industries including health care, technology and clean energy. It is also a leading supplier of hydrogen. The American-based global industrial gases company has been in operation for more than 80 years.
Air Products is also a leading producer and supplier of green hydrogen, which is produced using water and electrolysis. It can be used as fuel for vehicles and other items, and to support manufacturing processes, which reduces carbon emissions in these sectors.
Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul announced in July that the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees awarded Air Products 94 megawatts of low-cost St. Lawrence hydropower — 84 megawatts of preservation power for 10 years and 10 megawatts of preservation power for three years. The 10-megawatt allocation could be extended or replaced with another hydropower resource that becomes available.
Preservation Power is comprised of 490 megawatts of competitively priced hydropower generated at the St. Lawrence Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project that may be allocated to eligible businesses located in Franklin, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
Air Products’s application was considered under the Power Authority’s green jobs evaluation criteria, which was approved by the trustees in December 2020, to allow NYPA to consider green job impacts in New York state when evaluating economic development power applications.
As part of the agreement, Air Products would commit to creating 90 new permanent, full-time jobs over the 10-year term of the hydropower allocations. The average annual compensation and benefits for the jobs are estimated at $90,000 per job.
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