Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett visited the vaccines division campus of Sanofi Pasteur in Swiftwater this week to announce the extension of the Route 611 corridor natural gas line in Monroe County. The program is made possible in part through a $5 million state-funded economic growth initiative grant.
Once completed, the line will provide natural gas service to other employers in the area.
Sanofi Pasteur is now connected to the line and using natural gas. This project helps to retain the more than 2,500 jobs currently at Sanofi Pasteur, while leading to additional job creation in the area through pipeline construction and business growth.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be about $16 million, with Sanofi paying the amount not covered by grant funding.
"The natural gas line helps us lower our production costs, making the company more competitive," said Ellyn Schindler, director, Home State Public Affairs- Pennsylvania at Sanofi Pasteur, this morning. "The gas line will cut our energy costs by about 20 percent, which could mean $2 million to $4 million savings per year."
Aside from economical benefits, Schindler said, there are environmental gains, including a reduction in the company's carbon footprint and the end of reliance on oil truck deliveries.
"It's a more reliable form of energy," Schindler said.
The initiative is an administration-sponsored economic development program that provides local communities with grants for the acquisition and construction of economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects. Projects are selected based upon their job-creation potential and economic impact, as well as their viability and construction readiness.
Corbett helped subsidize the funding by releasing $5 million in Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program money, plus $3 million in funding from former Gov. Ed Rendell's tenure, Schindler said. An additional $1.2 million in gaming funding came from the Local Share Account for Monroe County.