Northampton Press

Monday, September 16, 2019

Keystone gets grant to extend natural gas service

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

Parent company to fund majority of project to access clean energy source

State Sen. Mario Scavello, R-40th; state Rep. Marcia Hahn, R-138th; and state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th, have announced a state fund of $320,950 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) has been approved for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation to extend natural gas service to Keystone Cement Company, East Allen Township.

The investment was one of three PIPE grants approved by the state CFA in Harrisburg. PIPE, which is administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks and existing manufacturing and industrial enterprises, which will result in the creation of new economic base jobs in the commonwealth while providing access to natural gas for residents.

“I’m pleased to announce the approval of these state funds to help assist a local company such as Keystone stay competitive in the foreign and domestic cement industry,” Boscola said. “This state investment will allow Keystone to improve the operations of its local manufacturing plant that will assist in the retention of 137 jobs at the Keystone Cement facility and provide further development opportunities along the 1.3-mile pipeline extension.”

“Keystone has a long and storied history in Northampton County and has employed countless men and women from our local communities throughout the years,” Scavello added. “I am pleased to support Keystone’s efforts as they continue to invest in their plant infrastructure and maintain their presence for many more years to come.”

Founded in 1928, Keystone Cement manufactures Portland Cement as well as masonry cements that are used in the construction of highways, bridges and buildings.

“Keystone’s parent company, Giant Cement Holding, will fund more than three quarters of the cost of the nearly $2.2 million proposal,” Hahn said. “The grant will merely complete the project and allow Keystone to access a clean energy source, of which Pennsylvania has an abundance.”

The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Pennsylvania’s economic stimulus packages. The PIPE funds come from CFA Alternative Energy Investment Act High Performance Building Program funds as well as other program funds.

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation serves as an intermediary between business owners and financial institutions or economic development financing programs in the commonwealth.