There's a new player in high density polyethylene pipe for the natural gas gathering market.
Nisku, Alberta-based Garneau Inc. officially began production this week under subsidiary Garneau Poly Pipe Inc. The firm's primary business is applying coatings and linings to steel pipe used in the oil and natural gas industry.
President Glen Garneau said that this is his company's response to distributors that have had problems receiving HDPE pipe in Alberta, northern British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
``We've been looking at this for [more than] two years,'' Garneau said in a May 27 telephone interview. ``We're kind of targeting that because that's the same group of people that buy coating products. We're just competing on the gas gathering. We're very niche-oriented.''
Garneau also is using the new pipe product to offset a slowdown in domestic fabrication and coating activity, according to its year-end operating results. The firm has been serving the coating and lining market for about 30 years.
The company currently is operating one extrusion line at its facility in Camrose, Alberta, but Garneau claims the high-production line can manufacture as much as three conventional pipe lines. The line runs at 3,300 pounds per hour, making 2- to 6- inch coil tubulars, he said. The company has a 65,000-square-foot manufacturing plant.
``Until we see what happens, that's our production line,'' he said. ``We're only running at about 30 percent capacity right now. The plant runs very fast, so we want longer coils. We don't want to have shorter meter coils.''
Garneau reported US$19 million (C$29 million) in 2001 sales. The firm expects its HDPE pipe business to generate US$3 million to US$5 million in sales for 2002. The publicly held company trades on the Toronto stock exchange.