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Curran Renewable Energy may expand operations

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MASSENA - Curran Renewable Energy, which manufactures wood pellets in the Massena Industrial Park, may expand its operations.

The Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena sold three lots in the park to Curran for $25,000 Thursday night. In addition, Curran will provide another $100,000 worth of materials and in-kind services to help repair Trade Drive, one of the roads in the industrial park, according to outgoing BDC Executive Director Jason A. Clark.

Business owner Patrick Curran said he is also in the process of purchasing an additional lot currently owned by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Agency, which contains a 20,000-square-foot building. That building and the three vacant lots will present an opportunity for his business to expand, he said.

Sales of wood pellets have grown since Curran began in 2009. And if business continues to go well, Mr. Curran said he would be interested in branching out into other areas of the forest processing industry.

“As long as we continue to serve the market with quality, I think we will soon be at 100 percent capacity at the pellet plant,” Mr. Curran said. “There’s a lot of opportunity, in time, to try and make this more of a wood operation instead of a pellet facility.”

Mr. Curran said he did not yet have a timetable for when he might expand his operations, or how many more jobs that would provide; the wood pellet plant and associated Seaway Timber Harvesting together employ approximately 100. Mr. Curran said Massena’s strong workforce has allowed his company to grow, and may enable it to expand.

“Yes, it’s going to be tough to compete with the existing market,” he said of branching out. “I think there’s opportunity if we work at it.”

The BDC Board of Directors was unanimous in its approval to sell the three lots. Mr. Clark, on his last day as executive director, praised the sale.

“Pat is one of the finest businesspeople in the north country, and ... in working with someone like him, we expect good things in the future,” Mr. Clark said. “The BDC is very pleased we have the opportunity to work with Pat as his business continues to evolve and as he continues to maintain a leadership position in the community.”

Mr. Curran called the repairs of Trade Drive a “win-win.” It will provide a more stable road for his trucks to travel on, as well as address needed repairs the village would otherwise have to undertake. He undertook a similar effort in 2009 to repair Commerce Drive, another road in the industrial park.

Curran will install a long-lasting base on Trade Drive which the village will then pave over with blacktop, Mr. Clark said.

“These are costs the village won’t have to incur,” Mr. Clark said.

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