TORONTO TMK Ipsco broke ground Wednesday on a new 69,000-square-foot facility at its operations in Odessa, Texas.
The Downers Grove, Ill.-based steel tube and pipe maker said the new facility would consist of two main buildings dedicated to making its Ultra Premium connections product line and would include both pipe pre-processing and threading capabilities.
The new facility is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2012 and create "several" jobs for skilled labor, TMK Ipsco said.
"This improvement will enable us to increase our capacity in an extremely busy market," TMK Ipsco chairman Piotr Galitzine said in a statement Tuesday.
TMK Ipsco is part of Moscow-based energy tubulars producer OAO TMK.
"Our investment in Odessa will be more than $17 million," a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail to AMM Wednesday.
Premium connections have become increasingly important in demanding drilling environments such as shale plays, where pipe is often subject to corrosive environments and high pressure.
TMK Ipsco has said that it was looking to expand threading capacity for its Ultra Premium connections in a bid to increase its presence in the North American shale play sector (AMM, Sept. 24, 2009).
The new facility streamlines premium connection operations, which are currently spread out over a host of sites and buildings, TMK Ipsco said. The move should also boost production capacity and shorten response time.
The new construction will include several improvements, among them better labs, laser length-measuring systems and a bar code pipe-tracking system, TMK Ipsco said. It is also expected to contain three pipe threading lines and one tubing line.
Odessa will continue to service material in diameters between 2⅜ inches and 13⅜ inches, TMK Ipsco said.