Conduit extruder Dura-Line LLC is investing at least $52 million and creating 141 new jobs to produce plastic conduit for fiber-optic lines in Lubbock, Texas.
The Knoxville, Tenn.-based business unit of Orbia Advance Corp. SAB de CV Mexico is expanding at a business park to keep up with demand, according to Elad Shmulevich, vice president of global operations at Orbia Connectivity Solutions, which includes Dura-Line products.
Founded in 1971, Dura-Line extrudes high density polyethylene conduit and microducts to provide protective pathways for wires and cables. The sheathings resist extreme temperatures, chemicals and corrosion, and have a bend radius to store on reels and route around or under obstacles.
"We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our products. So, expanding in a strategic location with a highly skilled workforce was crucial to our business plan. Lubbock exceeds in both categories," Shmulevich said in a news release.
Production is expected to begin in the second half of 2024, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
"There's a lot of interest and investments in telecommunications and connectivity," Shmulevich told the Journal. "The demand for data is exponentially growing, and COVID accelerated that even more. Dura-Line is ramping up its capability and capacity to reach that surge in demand."
The Lubbock expansion is monumental for the continued growth of rural Texas, according to John Osborne, CEO and president of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA).
"Dura-Line's production of conduit pathways for fiber-optic cables will enable the expansion of broadband connectivity to our rural communities in need, especially those in West Texas," Osborne said in the release. "I am proud to welcome Orbia and Dura-Line to Lubbock, as they have proven to be great corporate partners that share our West Texas values and vision for the future of this region."
With an estimated $500 million in sales, Dura-Line ranks No. 10 among North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders, according to Plastics News data.
Fort Worth, Texas-based W.L. Plastics Corp. also is investing in Lubbock. The company will spend $40 million on a second HDPE pipe facility expected to create 95 new jobs in the area.