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MASSENA, NY-Years in the planning and approvals stages, Alcoa‘s $600-million-plus Massena Modernization Project reached the groundbreaking stage Monday as federal, state and local officials moved dirt with shovels made from aluminum. The long-range MMP originated as a 2007 agreement between Alcoa and New York State for the New York Power Authority to provide 478 megawatts of low-cost hydroelectric power in exchange for the aluminum manufacturing giant modernizing its facilities here and keeping about 1,000 jobs in the Empire State.

“It has been a long time coming,” said John D. Martin, president of Alcoa’s US Primary Products division, at Monday afternoon’s ceremony. “This has been a long, hard road.” Alcoa is the largest private employer in the state north of Syracuse.

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