The Buffalo News - Business - Local - INDUSTRIAL GASES

Praxair to put $9.1 million into Tonawanda operations

By CHET BRIDGER

News Business Reporter

1/9/2003

Praxair will invest another $9.1 million in its Tonawanda campus as part of a multiyear project to add new technology and expand its research and development operation.

The Connecticut-based company has already spent $25 million on renovations and equipment in Tonawanda since 2000. Praxair is the world's third-largest producer of industrial gases, and the company's R&D function is based in Tonawanda.

The company will purchase new equipment and renovate buildings to support a number of functions, including operations, logistics and engineering, Praxair site manager Dennis Conroy said.

But most of the additional investment will support the research and development operation, he said.

"The majority of this investment will go into our research and development area because of the changing nature of industrial gas research," Conroy said. "Technology has become key to our operations."

The company is not creating jobs as a result of this additional investment. Praxair already added about 50 research and development positions in Tonawanda in the last three years. The company shifted 26 science and engineering positions from Tarrytown to Tonawanda last year.

Praxair has applied for a sales tax exemption with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency that could save the company more than $700,000. The ECIDA will consider the request at a meeting next week.

Praxair produces oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, argon and other gases used by electronics manufacturers and other industrial customers. About 1,200 people work at the company's multibuilding campus on more than 100 acres bordering East Park Drive and Sheridan Drive.

The campus is also the site of a $33 million environmental remediation project being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps is cleaning soil contamination dating to the 1940s, when the federal government and the former Linde Air Products conducted atomic bomb research there.

One of the buildings on the Linde property, known as Building 14, will be demolished. The building was used for uranium separation during World War II and it was left with higher radiation levels.

With that demolition, "the future looks good for Praxair here," Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Ronald H. Moline said.

Conroy said the company thinks the property will have good development potential after the Army Corps project is completed.

e-mail: cbridger@buffnews.com

Copyright 1999 - 2003 - The Buffalo News

(Emphasis by Don)

COMMENTS:

EXCERPT #1:

"The campus is also the site of a $33 million environmental remediation project being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."

This seems to be a considerable amount of money that was spent on what BBB assured us that there was 'no problem.'

EXCERPT #2:

"One of the buildings on the Linde property, known as Building 14, will be demolished."

Is this where FACTS can jump in and proclaim 'We told you so'?

EXCERPT #3:

"Conroy said the company thinks the property will have good development potential after the Army Corps project is completed. "

* HMmmmmm - Does this infer that Praxair is planning on moving? Sounds like it from here.

* We must remember that when the "cleanup" is complete, this does not mean that there will be nothing but virgin soil. The "cleanup" process only removes most of the radioactive contamination. There will be contamination left which is still above the natural background.

Don Finch

------------------------

Researcher, Editor & Co Webmaster FACTSOFWNY

F.A.C.T.S. (For A Clean Tonawanda Site), Inc.

Tonawanda, N.Y. & Manhattan Project (World's 1st Atomic Bombs)

Web site: http://www.factsofwny.org

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