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Empire State Development and New York Power Authority Announce Surmet Corporation Expands Manufacturing Operations in Erie County

Transparent Ceramic Manufacturer Adds 4,000-Square-Feet to its Buffalo Facility Creating 17 New Jobs

Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced that transparent ceramic manufacturer Surmet Corp. has expanded its 75,000-square-foot facility at 699 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo by more than 4,000 square-feet to house new ceramics processing equipment. The company also invested in new production furnaces and renovations to the existing facility. As a result of the $14.5 million project, the manufacturer has committed to creating up to 17 new jobs in the next three to five years. The company is about to be fully operational at the expanded facility.

“Surmet’s expanded ceramics facility marks an important milestone for Western New York, and adds to the region’s momentum as a hub for advanced manufacturing and innovation,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. “The project reflects Buffalo’s ability to grow its most successful companies and support the industries that will power New York’s economic future.”

“Niagara hydropower is the backbone of economic development in Western New York, acting as a catalyst for billions of dollars in capital investments and tens of thousands of jobs in the region,” said NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “The Surmet expansion is impactful news for the area, delivering good-paying jobs and demonstrating Surmet’s commitment to Buffalo.”

Surmet Corp. was founded in 1982 with a commitment to provide cost effective advanced material solutions to its industrial customers with a focus on next generation machines, systems, and applications. Surmet has been a leader in commercializing and scaling up manufacturing of advanced material components, based on critical, innovative R&D carried out in its own state-of-the-art labs.

Surmet operates facilities in three states—Massachusetts, New York and California—and is providing specialized capabilities in ceramics processing, precision polishing, advanced coatings, and surface treatments. Surmet has been in this Buffalo facility since 2002.

“We are excited about this expansion to establish a vertically integrated capability to manufacture transparent ceramic products and to have an opportunity to create new manufacturing jobs in Buffalo,” said Dr. Santosh Jha, Director of Operations at Surmet. “Surmet also thanks all its vendors and local authorities for their help and support in completing this project.”

Best known for its ALON® Transparent Ceramic (also known as Transparent Aluminum), Surmet is a pioneer in other advanced technologies including IR optics materials, optical coatings, precision optics fabrication, lightweight transparent armor design and solutions, and other related products. ALON is the hardest polycrystalline transparent ceramic material there is and has been shown to stop multiple 50 caliber armor piercing (AP) rounds (see video demonstration here.) In addition to high hardness and strength, ALON possesses good chemical resistance and high temperature resistance. Surmet manufactures and supplies high quality ALON® components to military and industrial customers in sizes as large as 18 inches by 35 inches and in large quantities.  Surmet also supplies ALON domes and windows for infrared optics applications including IR guided missiles, sensor, and reconnaissance pods for both ground vehicles and helicopters/aircraft.

ESD is assisting Surmet Corp. with the project by providing up $675,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in exchange for job creation commitments. The firm also benefits from 640 kilowatts of low-cost Niagara hydropower in return for its commitment to create jobs and invest capital. Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project or businesses in Chautauqua County. Niagara hydropower is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs in the region.

For additional information about Surmet Corp., visit http://www.surmet.com/.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “Using the low-cost hydropower generated by the Niagara River to invest in good-paying jobs like the ones created by Surmet’s expansion is the exact type of high-road economic development that we need to focus on in Western New York. Leveraging our great natural resources to bring quality jobs to Buffalo is an essential part of our efforts to ensure a strong economic future for our region.”

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera said, “Through all of the progression and successful injection of economic development through the past decade, Buffalo remains a manufacturing hub at its core. Surmet Corp.’s commitment to Buffalo is the latest example of our region’s ability to attract the right kinds of businesses that can create good-paying job for local residents. The renovations undertaken by Surmet will allow for expanded operations, and in turn, will further cement the company’s imprint in WNY.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “I congratulate Surmet Corporation on its $14.5 million expansion project at its Hertel Avenue facility in Buffalo. This milestone, combined with support from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority, reinforces the company’s commitment to create new jobs over the next few years and sends a positive message about our City’s skilled workforce and ongoing efforts to revitalize our economy.” 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “This expansion by a major manufacturer represents a commitment by a company that is helping to create good-paying jobs for people who live in our community. The upgrades being made to this facility is a significant contribution to our region’s innovative economic advancement. I applaud everyone involved with helping to make this project come to fruition.”

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309

Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239