High-Tech Startup Opens New Pilot Manufacturing Line and Technical Center With New York State Funding Assistance
Project Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of SiGNa Chemistry’s pilot manufacturing plant and technical center at Kodak’s Eastman Business Park, highlighting the company’s role in the high-tech energy ecosystem thriving in Rochester. SiGNa Chemistry joins fellow innovative firms at EBP in industries including biomaterials, information technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. The 25,000-square-foot facility is expected to create 37 permanent jobs and 75 ancillary jobs over a three-year period.
“Our administration is committed to helping manufacturing companies like SiGNa expand and grow right in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new facility will create jobs, drive economic growth and further cement this region’s role as a leader in 21st century technology and innovation.”
“As a major piece of the Governor’s strategy focused on Upstate revitalization, the Finger Lakes Forward plan is a game-changer for Rochester and the whole region,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Today’s announcement from manufacturer SiGNa Chemistry continues this region’s trend of growth and development with high-tech jobs. The progress that’s happening at the Eastman Business Park is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come for the region.”
SiGNa Chemistry is a specialty chemical manufacturer that produces a portfolio of stabilized alkali metal products. The company focuses on developing clean, innovative chemical technologies that benefit a variety of industries, including industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and oil and gas recovery.
“We are very grateful for the State’s support, which helped SiGNa to expand its manufacturing capacity and meet the demands of our customers in the global heavy oil industry,” said SiGNa President & CEO, Michael Lefenfeld. “Our Rochester facilities will also be the home for exciting new research programs that are designed to develop green industrial chemicals that leave a smaller footprint.”
According to Lefenfeld, there are many important new applications for SiGNa’s products, which are often cleaner and more environmentally friendly than chemicals used today. Research that is completed at the new Rochester Technology Center at EBP will lead to new chemical products that minimize environmental impact in a number of industries such as chemical enhanced oil recovery, oil refining and pipeline cleanout.
“SiGNa is exactly the kind of company we want to attract to the region and support in any way we can to help them succeed,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman. “We’re very happy to see this company investing in manufacturing infrastructure, growing its operations and creating jobs at EBP. They have a great future, and they’re building it right here in Rochester.”
SiGNa, which has developed a groundbreaking process to stabilize reactive metals, is headquartered in New York City and operates R&D laboratories in California and Pennsylvania. SiGNa is on the brink of major growth as its oil and gas products continue to demonstrate the ability to significantly and safely recover oil from existing wells. SiGNa currently manufactures its products in Tennessee and California. To meet its projected North American demand, SiGNa will bring its manufacturing in-house and consolidate its products at Eastman Business Park.
Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, will provide SiGNa up to $750,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for job creation commitments.
“Eastman Business Park is on track to become a global center of technical innovation and the addition of SiGNa Chemistry adds to its growing reputation as a manufacturing and technology hub,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “SiGNa sells its products globally and could have chosen anywhere in the world for its pilot manufacturing line but chose EBP and Rochester for its highly skilled and talented workforce.”
“SiGNa Chemistry is a great success story, we are proud they chose to manufacture in the Park,” said Eastman Business Park Vice President Dolores Kruchten. “Companies like SiGNa benefit from Kodak’s chemical analytics, handling and warehousing capabilities, and close proximity to critical suppliers. There’s no ecosystem quite like ours for commercializing chemical products.”
Products manufactured at the 25,000 square foot facility, including SiGNa’s ActiveEOR® product line, will be sold into the Canadian heavy oil industry. The technical center will house chemists, chemical engineers and R&D technicians who will develop new chemical products for industrial chemical processing, chemically enhanced oil recovery, hydraulic fracturing, carbonate wettability and pipeline cleanout applications. SiGNa’s future plans include research and development and a further expansion of manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demands of the domestic and global oil and gas industries.
“Today marks yet another significant boost for Rochester economy and is further evidence that the manufacturing resurgence in our community, particularly advanced and clean manufacturing, is real,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle. “I thank SiGNa for selecting our community as the location for their pilot manufacturing plant and technical center. Their investment will not only stimulate local job growth, but it also marks yet another step forward in Eastman Business Park's rise as one of the nation's preeminent industrial parks for manufacturing and technological innovation.”
"The addition of SiGNa Chemistry to Eastman Business Park is great news for the Rochester region and the continued improvement of our local economy,” said Senator Joe Robach. “Eastman Business Park continues to re-invent itself into a national research, innovation, and high-tech energy hub, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs for our workforce, with the SiGNa being the latest to invest in the Rochester community.”
“We are excited to welcome SiGNa Chemistry to Rochester and Eastman Business Park,” said City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. “High tech companies like SiGNa Chemistry are the engines that will drive Rochester’s new economy, and they are important partners in our efforts to bring more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities to our citizens.”
“We are proud that SiGNa Chemistry has chosen to expand here in Monroe County, joining our community's already burgeoning high-tech sector,” said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “Our community has a highly-educated and talented workforce, which makes it an attractive place to invest. We welcome SiGNa and look forward to working with them to create good-paying jobs for Monroe County residents.”
“Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce congratulates SiGNa Chemistry on the grand opening of its manufacturing plant at Eastman Business Park, said Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy. “SiGNa’s diverse product portfolio and the jobs it plans to create here take Eastman Business Park another step further in becoming the top economic engine in the Finger Lakes region. Rochester Chamber is pleased to call SiGNa a member and stands ready to help the company in any way that we can to help it grow and prosper.”
Eastman Business Park (EBP) is now well positioned and already supporting companies in energy innovation, bioscience material manufacturing, and functional films to put Finger Lakes on the national manufacturing map. With state support and leadership, EBP has overcome barriers to redevelopment and growth, is home to 65 companies and more than 5,000 non-Kodak employees, and is now poised to become a national hub of next generation manufacturing in energy storage technologies, functional films, biomaterials and food processing.
About SiGNa Chemistry
Founded in 2007, New York City-based SiGNa Chemistry is a premier specialty chemical manufacturer and oil production company. SiGNa develops and manufactures chemical products based on its proprietary stabilized reactive metal platform. The company’s mission is to develop high performing, cost-effective, innovative new chemical products that are also environmentally safe and deliver better performance than existing chemicals. SiGNa serves customers in 50 countries around the world, and its products are used in a wide range of applications, including oil and gas recovery, plastics, papers, refining, pharmaceuticals, construction rubbers, and consumer electronics. More information about SiGNa and stabilized reactive metal products can be found at www.signachem.com.
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agricultureý and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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