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OBPA pursues industry, brewery leads

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An industry, a transportation company and a brewery are all being courted by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to set up shop in its heavy industrial park along Route 37.

The business and industrial prospects are the result of their exposure and response to a December 2012 marketing analysis. It was initially aimed at the Greek yogurt industry to consider Ogdensburg as a production center, but was distributed elsewhere.

OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis said Thursday that the prospects — none of which he wished to explain in detail — are six months away from a decision to commit or go elsewhere. The brewery, he pointed out, is a recent inquiry and is a maker of a nationally known brand.

“We’re working diligently on all of this,” he said.

The 22-page analysis by DCG Corplan Consulting LLC promoted Ogdensburg as an ideal place to produce yogurt because of its proximity to dairy farms and, especially, to Canada and its expanding Greek yogurt market. Canadians, the report concluded, consume 33 percent more yogurt per capita than Americans.

But that market was closed by the Canadian courts after the report was released. Backed by an earlier court ruling, U.S.-based Greek yogurt maker Chobani was allowed to sell its product in Canada. A subsequent decision earlier this year, in an apparent nod to protectionist-minded Canadian Greek yogurt producers, shut down the Americans’ access.

Nevertheless, according to Mr. Davis, the Greek yogurt industry and Ogdensburg are a good fit.

“There is no market to the north,” he said. “But there is a market to east, south and west.”

Ogdensburg’s advantages that can be applied to all four industrial prospects, Mr. Davis said, include:

n A 70-acre “shovel-ready” site with water, sewer, electric and gas service.

n A freight railway service along the side of the site.

n The city water treatment plant that has a daily 6 million gallon capacity plus, if needed, an additional 3 million gallons a day.

n The city sewage treatment plant that has a 20 million gallon-a-day capacity plus an additional 5 million gallons daily if necessary.

n Reduced electricity costs through the five-year New York State Power Authority Preservation Power program.

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