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JM Eagle reopens shuttered Colorado plant with 8 PVC lines

By: Catherine Kavanaugh

April 18, 2014

JM Eagle has reopened its Pueblo, Colo., plant with eight PVC pipe extrusion lines back in operation following an 18-month shutdown.

Executives from the Los Angeles-based company, which ranks itself as the world’s largest plastic pipe maker, flew to Colorado for an April 16 event to mark the occasion.

They also announced a national advertising campaign aimed at getting more municipal utilities and contractors to pick plastic pipes over other materials.

The Pueblo plant produces 4 to 27-inch PVC pipes for water, sewer and irrigation systems. The facility is part of JM Eagle’s distribution system for the central region of the United States.

Right now the plant is reportedly operating with 30 employees and at about 50 percent of capacity following $2 million of upgrades, company spokeswoman Isabel Estrada said in a telephone interview.

However, if orders increase, the company will boost capacity and add another 35 workers.

“At a time when manufacturing jobs in the United States are disappearing or being shipped overseas, JM Eagle is maintaining its presence in the industry and taking steps to strengthen its role,” the company said in a news release.

JM Eagle will try to beef up sales of its pipe products with 60-second television commercials that show the advantages plastic has over other materials when it comes to replacing the nation’s aging infrastructure.

“The ad campaign is a bold strategy that highlights the obvious advantages of plastic pipe versus alternative materials, not only saving cities up to 70 percent in costs but also offering JM Eagle’s exclusive innovative products as well as an industry first 50-year warranty,” said Neal Gordon, vice president of sales and marketing, in a telephone interview.

The Pueblo plant was shuttered in 2012 after orders slowed from city utilities and builders because of the downturn in the economy, according to a story in The Pueblo Chieftain.

Things seem to be looking up on both fronts. Many plastics companies that supply materials for the construction sector are stepping up production. In recent months, Dura-Line Corp announced plans to invest $10 million at three U.S. plants that make pressure pipe and conduit; IV Group is building an $80 million facility to make luxury vinyl plank and tile; and Chelsea Building Products increased extrusion capacity by 20 percent for its door and window profiles.

JM Eagle’s ad campaign reportedly will launch this spring, coinciding with the building season. JM Eagle has 20 manufacturing plants and more than 1,000 employees.