Eastman Kodak Co. and the state of New York said June 19 that they have agreed on a partnership, subject to bankruptcy court approval, to drive several key initiatives at Eastman Business Park (EBP), including the sale of the park’s steam- and power-producing facilities.
As one major component of this deal, the state and Kodak have reached an agreement to establish a $49m environmental trust for EBP, Kodak’s primary manufacturing site for more than a century, which has developed into one of the country’s largest, most diverse industrial and technology parks.
Under the agreement, which is subject to court approval and the satisfaction of certain conditions, the trust would ensure continued environmental oversight, while addressing environmental obligations into the future – including an extension of the current protections for the site that Kodak has with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The creation of the trust fund would also help drive further strategic economic development initiatives at this multi-use, multi-tenant campus – and would settle legacy environmental claims under Kodak’s recently-filed plan of reorganization.
“Today’s agreement with Kodak on the future of Eastman Business Park is great news for the community of Rochester,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Under this agreement, which addresses environmental, operations and management concerns, we are insuring that EBP will remain a major and stable economic driver in the City, growing existing businesses, attracting new investments and creating jobs for the entire Finger Lakes region.”
“These important activities all combine to provide the right answer at the right time, serving the public and community interests in protecting the environment and strengthening economic development initiatives, while also facilitating Kodak’s emergence from Chapter 11,” said Antonio Perez, Kodak Chairman and CEO.
In parallel with the development of the trust, the previously-announced sale of Kodak’s utility infrastructure to Recycled Energy Development LLC (RED) is also targeted for completion promptly after approval of the agreement by the court. RED will acquire the comprehensive EBP utilities infrastructure and continue to supply electricity, steam, water, refrigeration, compressed air, and nitrogen, as well as treat wastewater for EBP.
Kodak will maintain substantial space and operations at EBP. EBP is now home to 6,000 employees working for Kodak and approximately 40 tenants and property owners. A growing number of companies in the energy storage, functional film and biomaterials space are choosing to locate to EBP, due to the unique blend of infrastructure, innovation and skilled workforce capabilities that exist on site. Kodak, once a leading maker of film, is transforming into a B2B company focused on its Commercial Imaging business.
EBP is a unique, multi-use advanced manufacturing and research center in Rochester, N.Y. The 1,200 acre campus encompasses over 100 buildings, 2.5 million square feet of space, and over 50 miles of integrated roads and rail. EBP possesses a self-generated utility infrastructure.
RED said in a December 2012 blog posting about the Eastman Kodak facility buy: “In order to meet new environmental standards (particularly Boiler MACT), RED will invest $86 million to convert the coal-fired power plant to natural gas and to increase the cogeneration system’s efficiency. RED will continue to supply reliable and economical utilities services — including electricity, steam, water, refrigeration, compressed air, and nitrogen, as well as treat wastewater – for the 35 EBP tenants, including Kodak.”
The EBP power plant has a generating capacity of 125 MW and also can deliver a similar amount of thermal energy to EBP in the form of steam and chilled water, said the blog posting.
“RED’s investment in Eastman Business Park is a critical step in our collective efforts to revitalize the Park; it’s great news for the community, for the tenants of EBP and for Kodak,” said Michael Alt, Director of Business Development for Eastman Business Park, in the blog. “RED will work closely with Kodak and other major tenants of Eastman Business Park to offer competitively priced, reliable and sustainable services, to optimize energy efficiency on site, and to meet ongoing regulatory obligations.”
The RED website also shows the company is currently seeking to hire several managers for the Rochester operations.