North American Technologies Group Inc. has acquired a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Marshall, Texas, its second in the state.
The railroad crosstie maker expects to invest nearly $8.5 million in the site, including two production lines. Officials expect to start production in eight months. The facility is about 300 miles northeast of Houston, the site of NATK's headquarters.
The new building is situated on a main line of Union Pacific Railroad, officials said, and has a dedicated spur.
In January, NATK secured an order from the railroad valued at more than $55 million.
``It was a distance where we could shuttle workers back and forth as we transition,'' said Allen Snelling, NATK's director of corporate finance, in an Aug. 26 telephone interview.
President Henry Sullivan alluded to a new site last year, when the firm announced an expansion at its headquarters. In that move, NATK boosted plant space in Houston to nearly 50,000 square feet.
``The facility has gone well,'' Snelling said. ``We're approaching our goal of 8,000 ties per month.''
NATK announced earlier this month it entered an agreement for $14 million in debt financing from Sponsor Investments LLC, a group including members of Beta Capital Group LLC and Sammons Enterprises Inc., each of Dallas. NATK officials said it would use the proceeds to accelerate construction.
``We now have the resources to expand the TieTek production capacity to meet the demands of our customers,'' Sullivan said in a news release. ``We estimate that this production, added to the output of our existing plant, will total 350,000 railroad ties per year. We intend to further expand manufacturing capacity aggressively with the financial support of our new sponsor.''
Snelling said the new, 40-acre site has room for expansion. NATK expects to employ 40. The firm currently employs 25.
``Ultimately, we think there will be these manufacturing facilities around the globe, subject to all the logistics,'' he said. ``We can foresee opening three new manufacturing lines per year for the next five years.''
For 2002, the firm reported a loss of $2 million on sales of $1.7 million. It attributed the loss to the cost of ramping up operations and corporate overhead.