FerraTex Solutions LLC, a provider of cured-in-place pipes (CIPP), liners, tubes and equipment, is investing $1.95 million to renovate a facility in Martinsville, Va., where it will open its sixth plant and create 15 new jobs.
The site is near a facility belonging to FerraTex's parent company, Applied Felts Inc., which manufactures felt and fiberglass materials to reline gravity sewer, pressure pipe and potable water pipes at facilities in Martinsville, the United Kingdom and India.
Applied Felts acquired FerraTex in December 2019. Ferratex distributes CIPP liners and offers wet-out services, which is the process of impregnating the liner fibers with thermoplastic resin during the pultrusion manufacturing process.
The resin-saturated liner is then loaded into a climate-controlled trailer for delivery. At the installation site, workers thread the sleeve through an underground pipe and then inflate and heat it with steam or hot water. The sleeve then hardens to form a continuous plastic liner along the old pipe's inner walls.
FerraTex is expanding its presence in Virginia to meet increasing interest in trenchless pipe linings, which are an affordable and effective way to rehabilitate aging sewer and water systems, according to Applied Felts spokesman Gil Carroll.
"The poor condition of underground pipeline infrastructure in the U.S. is leading to a growing demand for CIPP rehabilitation of gravity and pressure pipelines," Carroll said in an email to Plastics News.
FerraTex will expand the Virginia facility to 80,000 square feet, install new equipment and make some upgrades needed to provide wet-out CIPP liners, Carroll added.
Applied Felts President Alex Johnson said the location of the affiliated plants is ideal.
"The close proximity of the new facility to our Applied Felts plant will greatly reduce shipping costs, allow us to maintain access to the area's outstanding trucking lanes and highly skilled employee base, and better meet the high demand in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, two of the nation's busiest underground infrastructure repair markets," Johnson said in a news release.
The project received local investments totaling $118,701 for employee training and expanding in an enterprise zone. The facility previously housed Compton Wood Products.
Jerry Gaines, vice president of operations for FerraTex, said the Martinsville facility will be "our state-of-the-art, flagship."
FerraTex also has offers wet-out services from facilities in New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Nevada.