The largest methane drilling project in the United States has motivated another high density polyethylene pipe manufacturer to set up shop in Gillette, Wyo., just north of Casper.
Fresno, Calif.-based Allwire Inc. is investing $6.5 million for its 48,000-square-foot facility. The company plans to begin production in January with five extrusion lines, said President Alan Hopkins. The company currently operates one extrusion facility in Fresno with nine lines. Two lines will be moved from the Fresno site to Wyoming, he said.
Allwire began planning the facility in March, and construction kicked up in July.
``The foundation is just going really slow,'' Hopkins said of the project that is running about a month behind schedule. ``It's Murphy's Law on budget and on operation.''
Allwire will produce three products at the plant: HDPE pipe for oil and gas, cable conduit and pump cables. The firm will add about 60 employees and produce 40 million pounds of pipe annually.
In January the coal-bed methane drilling project prompted the birth of W.L. Plastics LLC, based in Casper.
``It seems to be one of the highlights of the plastics pipe industry,'' Hopkins said in a Sept. 5 interview by telephone.
Allwire reported 2000 pipe sales of $13 million. With the new facility in operation for 2002, Hopkins anticipates $25 million in sales.