Governor Tom Corbett today visited the campus of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, in Monroe County, to announce the extension of the Route 611 Corridor Natural Gas Line made possible in part through the recent release of a $5 million Economic Growth Initiative grant.
This project is expected to boost job creation and retention in the Northeast Pennsylvania region.
The Economic Growth 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.
Last year, Corbett reformed the state’s method of funding these types of projects with a significant redesign, making the process more transparent and objective. Projects are now selected based upon their job-creation potential, their economic impact, as well as their viability and construction readiness.
The extension of the Route 611 gas line will make low-cost natural gas available to Sanofi Pasteur and other businesses located along the corridor, reducing energy costs and increasing competitiveness.
“I’m pleased to announce the award of this Economic Growth Initiative grant to support a project which exemplifies the impact these awards have on our communities,” said Corbett. “The lack of natural gas service in industrial areas has become a critical deterrent to industries and employers seeking to locate and expand operations within Monroe County.”
“By increasing the availability of low-cost, domestic natural gas we help communities thrive, business to be competitive and improve quality of life for all residents.”
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.
Once completed, the line will provide natural gas service to Sanofi Pasteur as well as other employers in the area. Sanofi Pasteur is now connected to the line and utilizing natural gas. The total cost of the project is estimated to be about $12.7 million, with the balance of funding coming from private and local sources.
“Sanofi Pasteur is not only the largest private employer in Monroe County with more than 2,500 employees and contractors working at their Swiftwater site, they are also a tremendous community partner,” said Corbett. “Investing in critical infrastructure will ensure they remain a fixture in this region employing Pennsylvanians for many years to come.”
Worldwide, Sanofi Pasteur provides more than one billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases.
Sanofi Pasteur has three locations within Pennsylvania — the Swiftwater site — Sanofi Pasteur’s only comprehensive U.S. offices, in addition to wholly owned subsidiary VaxServe and one of the company’s primary distribution centers.
In March 2013, the Corbett Administration announced the award of 54 new Economic Growth Initiative grants. These projects, totaling nearly $125 million, will create or retain more than 56,000 jobs in 28 counties across the state.
For a full listing of approved projects, submission criteria, and for more information, visit the Budget Office online at www.budget.state.pa.us and select the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program link.