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National Pipe plans $20M expansion

By: Frank Antosiewicz

January 14, 2013

National Pipe & Plastics Inc. is embarking on a $20 million plan to move into a new home and expand its PVC and high density polyethylene pipe offerings with bigger diameters.

“It’s probably three times the manufacturing space and the building is longer for coextrusion purposes,” President David Culbertson said in a Jan. 9 telephone interview.

The company has been providing PVC and HDPE pipe in diameters ranging from a half-inch to 24 inches for use in the water, sewer, plumbing and electrical markets. Now it will add new machinery to make sizes up to 48 inches in diameter.

National Pipe & Plastics, which is headquartered in Vestal, N.Y., has owned the property in West Endicott, N.Y., for about 10 years. The site is on 45 acres and will offer 235,000 square feet of space when it is up and running in June. The company expects the move to be completed by the end of 2013, although it will retain office space in Vestal as well. National Pipe also will continue to operate a manufacturing plant in Colfax, N.C.

West Endicott is only five miles away from National Pipe’s current New York facility, and the company had spent much of 2012 getting the proper permits and answering concerns of its neighbors. Culbertson said the firm held education forums to explain about the plant’s operations and are taking steps to lessen the impact on the neighborhood.

One of the steps is building a road from the back of the property right to the highway so that trucks will not have to drive through neighborhoods. The firm also is extending a railroad spur to the facility.

National Pipe’s new home will be larger, and has one bay with a 40-foot ceiling. He said that officials held their first pre-construction meeting Monday and are busy planning to upgrade the infrastructure. That will include new electrical systems, new silos, a chilled water system, a blending tower and a storage yard. It will include a material-handling system so that material can be unloaded from rail cars to the hoppers.

Culbertson said the company has ordered new machinery to improve efficiencies and allow for the production of the larger-size pipes. He did not elaborate on the machinery but noted that the new lines will be installed first to meet customers’ needs while the move is under way.

He said that once the new machinery is installed, lines will be moved, one at a time, from the old location. In this way, they will always have more capacity than they have currently.

National Pipe & Plastics has 275 employees at its two facilities and Culbertson expects that the 150 New York workers will all make the move. He said that once the company is settled in the new home, it will probably hire a few more people.

“We’re all very happy with the move. We see the 2013 economy improving. We’ve seen some improvement the last three years and we’re encouraged by the reactions from all our customers,” said Culbertson.