PolyPipe Inc. is building a 50,000-square-foot extrusion facility in Midland, Texas, to serve the fuel-drilling industry.
The plant will employ about 25 and is expected to come on line in March, Jim Moore, Polypipe's chief executive officer, said in a Dec. 23 telephone interview.
``It's going to be primarily focused on the oil- and gas-gathering business,'' he said. ``That's the majority of our business in west Texas.''
The company is relocating some off-line equipment from other plants as well as adding new equipment to the building, he said.
The Gainesville, Texas-based maker of smooth-wall polyethylene pressure pipe shut down two of its less-efficient plants in August 2007, in Kimball, Neb., and Roaring Springs, Texas.
The new Midland facility will bring Polypipe's plant portfolio to six: in Gainesville; Erwin, Tenn.; Fernley, Nev.; Sandersville, Ga.; and Evansville, Wyo.
The firm has large-diameter capacity at three of its plants, including 36-inch pipe in Gainesville, 54-inch pipe in Erwin and 65-inch pipe in Fernley.
PolyPipe is owned by private equity firm the Halifax Group in Washington.
PE pressure pipe is the dominant material for gas distribution in North America but, unlike in Europe, lags behind competing materials primarily ductile iron and PVC in the water-distribution market.
Market penetration for PE pressure pipe in water applications is less than 5 percent stateside, but has more than 50 percent market share in Europe. According to Halifax officials, the PE pressure pipe market has grown about 8 percent, on average, for the past 25 years.