Rocky Mountain Colby Pipe Co. is investing almost $10 million into its PVC conduit plant in Pendleton, Ore.
The site, which has been closed since February, will receive three new production lines and additional blending equipment. Other investments there include a new quality control lab and a new integrated computer system that will allow RMCP to barcode all of its products and inventory.
Company officials describe the project as "a complete restructuring phase." The 60-employee site is expected to reopen in September, with expansion work wrapping up in December, Bill Quinn, vice president of operations, said in an April 25 phone interview.
The refurbished plant will be the most automated PVC conduit plant in the country, he added. Moving ahead, officials said the Oregon plant will focus on PVC conduit, while its Denver location will emphasize PVC and ABS plumbing products.
RMCP makes ABS and PVC drain, waste and vent pipe and PVC pressure-rated pipe and electrical conduit for the construction, recreational vehicles, and factory-manufactured housing markets. Products are marketed through wholesale distributors in the central and western United States and Canada.
In the midst of the Oregon investment, Quinn said that RMCP will continue to seek a buyer for the firm. A potential deal fell through earlier this year.
Roscom Inc., a PVC compounder that shares some ownership with RMCP, first announced that the firm was for sale in July.
RMCP has annual sales of about $85 million, making it the 42nd largest pipe, profile and tubing extruder in North America, according to Plastics News' ranking. Overall, the firm has 102 employees on 20 manufacturing lines. PVC electrical conduit accounts for almost 40 percent of RMCP's sales.
The firm also invested almost $11 million in Oregon in 2014 to keep up with PVC conduit demand. That investment almost doubled the site's production capacity.
RMCP was created in 1996 when the Rocky Mountain Pipe Co. bought Colby Plastics Converters Inc., forming what company officials said at the time was the single-largest producer of ABS pipe in North America.