MEXICO CITY — Driscopipe Mexicana is gearing up to supply high density polyethylene pipe for the natural gas industry opening up in Mexico.
The company already has opened a plant in Tlaxcala, just outside Mexico City, to produce 20 million pounds a year of HDPE pipe.
Driscopipe Mexicana's manager of natural gas projects, Mario Garcia, declined to give current production figures or customers of the plant, which opened earlier this year.
Driscopipe Mexicana is a joint venture between PYN SA de CV, based in the Naucalpan de J£arez district of Mexico City, and Phillips Driscopipe Inc. of Richardson, Texas. PYN is a large producer of PVC film, and also makes vinyl floors and products for the food, pharmaceutical and construction industries.
Phillips Driscopipe is a major U.S. pipe extruder, with estimated 1996 sales of $150 million. It is a unit of Phillips Petroleum Co.
Estimating the size of the potential market for natural gas pipe in Mexico is very difficult, according to Garcia and Arturo Ibarra, director of institutional relations at the Comisi¢n de Regulaci¢n Energy. But both agree it is growing, they said at PlastImagen in Mexico City.
CRE is establishing regions within Mexico for natural gas distribution deals, and awarding contracts to private utility companies. Driscopipe expects to supply the utilities.
Driscopipe Mexicana has one local competitor, Extramex in Monterrey, which has been operating for several years.
A recent contract for Toluca in the state of Mexico calls for 369 miles of pipeline to reach 25,000 residential and industrial customers within five years.