May 21, 2011
Pyrotek taps growth globally
Company settles in at former Monarch plant as it plans to add jobs
CORTLANDVILLE — Pyrotek division manager Tom Howard said things are looking up for the company, which finalized a $3.3 million deal to purchase its Route 13 factory around this time last year.
The aluminum industry the company works closely with is growing fast, Howard said.
With high gas prices, manufacturers are looking to build lighter cars, using six times more aluminum in automobiles than they did 30 years ago.
Economic growth around the world has created a new class of consumers with disposable income, buying more aluminum products like soda and beer cans.
Conservative estimates say aluminum use could double in the world in the next 10 years, Howard said.
This is all good news for Pyrotek, which builds and engineers equipment for aluminum and other high-temperature metal and material industries, including steel, copper, brass, tungsten, glass and graphite.
“If it’s in aluminum, somehow Pyrotek has touched it,” Howard said Friday during a tour of the facility for local and state government officials and business leaders.
At its Cortlandville factory, workers engineer and build equipment custom-made for heating, melting, holding, transporting and filtering molten metal.
The company started its operations at its Route 13 factory in February.
Pyrotek employs 61 people and plans to add 50 more jobs at the plant by the end of 2012.
Howard said the company had a lot of options when it decided to make its move from its 38,000-square-foot Madison County facility.
They looked at using an idle plant the company owns in Tennessee; building a new facility in South Carolina, moving into a new plant in Monterrey, Mexico; and even splitting the operations up in various locations around the world.
Instead, with a host of economic incentives, Pyrotek chose Cortland County.
The $3.3 million deal included the purchase of the 140,000-square-foot building, as well as renovation, moving costs and other expenses.
Pyrotek is a private company that operates 66 locations in 31 countries. The company’s revenue has grown from $95 million in 1999 to approximately $300 million in 2008, according to its website.
The company received tax breaks and grants totaling about $2 million to attract it to the Cortlandville factory.
Last year, the Cortland County Business Development Corp. approved a $200,000 grant to help Pyrotek’s move.
Cortlandville was also awarded a $350,000 grant from the state Office of Community Renewal and a $350,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corp. to assist the move.
Pyrotek is also eligible to receive $713,155 in tax credits after three years under the Empire Zone program if it meets its projections for job creation and spends an anticipated $500,000 in equipment purchases.
The Cortland County Industrial Agency approved a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, starting in 2018, in which Pyrotek will pay no property taxes for three years; followed by two years paying 25 percent of its property taxes; three years paying 50 percent of its property taxes; and two years paying 75 percent of its property taxes.
It would pay its full property taxes starting in 2028.
Cortland County would lose an estimated $395,930 in property taxes through the PILOT agreement, which assumes a 1 percent increase in taxes each year. Anticipated tax revenue on the property without a PILOT would be $1.1 million, and with a PILOT it would be $690,710, according to the IDA.
Howard said the economic incentives were critical for keeping Pyrotek in New York state.
“The incentives were very important,” Howard said. “It would have never happened without them.”
The plant will bring jobs to the county and become a selling point for potential tenants at the Finger Lakes East Business Park, said Garry VanGorder, executive director of the Cortland County BDC-IDA.
“Probably the most important thing is the revitalization of a plant that was close to being dark if another couple of months had gone by,” VanGorder said.”For us in the county, it’s a great reuse of a facility that really is a landmark.”
Cortlandville Town Supervisor Dick Tupper said the plant will bring important industrial jobs to the region.
“We need industrial jobs,” Tupper said. “People working those jobs will support retail businesses.”
Howard said the former Monarch building works well for Pyrotek, with its high ceilings and spacious work floor.
“If we were to ask an architect to build us a facility, we might ask them to make a few changes, but this isn’t far off from what we’d do,” Howard said of the facility.
The Monarch Machine Tool Co. has relocated from its former manufacturing facility on Route 13 to a new space at Indacom Place, the former Smith Corona factory just a mile up the road.
With the aluminum industry picking up, Howard said Pyrotek is looking to grow, adding more employees and working with clients around the world.
He said the company has spent its first year in Cortlandville moving its equipment and getting used to the Monarch building.
“We are a very healthy business. We are definitely heading in the right direction,” Howard said. “We have every reason to believe we are going to continue to grow and be here a long time. We’re really happy to be here.”
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