CHICAGO Evraz Inc. North America (Evraz NA) plans to restart its Portland, Ore., spiral pipe mill, which has been idled since July 2009.
The facility should ramp up in the first half of 2013 once new equipment is installed, the Chicago-based subsidiary of London-based Evraz Plc said, adding that it would add 200 new employees to the plants existing work force of 500.
One reason for the move is Portlands relative proximity to oil and natural gas plays such as the Bakken shale, as well as other opportunities in Western Canada and the Rocky Mountain region, Evraz said.
The Bakken formation, largely centered in North Dakota, has transformed the state into a hub for oil-drilling activity in a short period of time.
The Portland restart indicates the companys commitment to the Portland area, Evraz NA chief executive officer Mike Rehwinkel said, even though it moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2011 (amm.com, Jan. 21, 2011). "Restarting this mill is evidence that we will continue to grow our business on the West Coast."
Rehwinkel told AMM earlier this year that Evraz was planning to invest in its Portland operations, noting at the time that it could add another 200 to 300 employees in 2013 or 2014 (amm.com, June 20).
Evrazs large-diameter spiral-weld pipe mill in Portland has an annual capacity of up to 200,000 tons, according to the companys website.