W.L. Plastics LLC is investing $10 million to build a pipe extrusion facility in Utah.
The Casper-based polyethylene pipe extruder broke ground Dec. 19 on a 33,000-square-foot building. The site will have four extrusion lines and 40 employees.
``They want to be up and running by May,'' said Clark Krause, director of economic development for Cedar City in southern Utah. ``So we're doing everything from our end to make sure they can have that occupied and ready to go.''
W.L. was started by Mark Wason and Steve Burns in 2001, when they teamed with silent investors to supply the Powder River Basin with 1- to 16-inch pipe for a methane recovery project. Since then, the company has expanded its products to serve the municipal water markets. In October, pipe giant PW Eagle Inc., now based in Eugene, Ore., acquired a 30 percent stake in the company.
``We selected Cedar City because of its ideal Western location that can take advantage of both an active Union Pacific rail spur and direct access to the Interstate 15 corridor,'' Wason, who is co-chief executive officer with Burns, said in a news release. ``Draw a distribution circle around Cedar City and you can reach almost 90 percent of the Western population within one-day trucking.''
W.L. received $100,000 from the state of Utah in an Industrial Assistance Fund and $225,000 in relocation expansion incentives. The Casper facility now has grown to five extrusion lines and nearly 50 employees, Wason said in a Dec. 22 telephone interview. Now, the firm is producing one-half-inch to 24-inch pipe at that facility.
``We're seeing more and more municipal water jobs being specified in polyethylene, or being specified in as an equal to other products,'' Wason said.