Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT

MASSENA, New York (WWNY) – It’s a major step forward for a major manufacturer that’s set to build in Massena.

The green hydrogen plant from Air Products and Chemicals just got approved by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency.

The project will produce clean fuel using water from the St. Lawrence River. In addition to helping the state hit its climate goals, the plant is expected to create 90 full-time job opportunities. Over the next 3 years, it’ll open up 350 temporary construction jobs.

“We hope that this will be a spark to the economy in the region and will also allow other companies who want to work with us to locate to the region. We think it’s an opportunity for economic growth in the region and we look forward to playing our part,” said Trip Oliver, director of government relations, Air Products.

It’s a move that will diversify the local economy which has traditionally been based on aluminum. The IDA says the project’s approval represents a major turning point for Massena and St. Lawrence County as a whole.

“I think there’s an awareness that this is a milestone project for us. This is a large project; it’s an important project. There’s a nice future orientation to what the company is doing,” said Patrick Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency.

When asked for public comment, Patrick Curran, who owns Seaway Timber Harvest, shared what he thinks the project means for the area’s future.

“I think it’s just great for the area to have something like this so young folks coming up through can start to look at their home as a place to stay instead of going elsewhere to find employment,” he said.

With the project approved, heavy construction is expected to be underway sometime next year. That will be a 3-year process with production starting in late 2026 or early 2027.

Watch the news clip here.