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FlexSteel pipe demand up despite mart lull: exec

Keywords: Tags  FlexSteel Pipeline Technologies, line pipe, pipe, steel pipe, Brian Anderson, Steel Success Strategies conference, SSS conference, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — FlexSteel Pipeline Technologies Inc. says that demand for its line pipe products has grown this year despite a softer overall market.

"Year over year we’ve had continued growth. We’re well above last year," vice president of strategy and marketing Brian Anderson said on the sidelines of the Steel Success Strategies XXVIII conference in New York sponsored by AMM and Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based World Steel Dynamics Inc.

That growth has occurred even though annual growth in the larger line pipe market has slowed to about 2 to 3 percent this year from about 3 to 5 percent previously, he said.

FlexSteel’s technology encases a lattice of cold-rolled steel strip between two layers of high-density polyethylene, making pipe that is flexible, durable and corrosion resistant. "The first thing we did was we created a flexible pipe, but we wanted to keep true to steel," Anderson said. "We wanted to create a product that was very durable and reliable."

The design cuts down on installation and maintenance costs, two pitfalls of traditional steel line pipe. "Onshore, we typically see that we can reduce a project’s costs by 20 to 40 percent. Offshore, we see even greater gains," he said.

The product comes in longer lengths than traditional steel line pipe, which is in 40-foot sections, allowing for more efficient installation. A reel of the company’s recently introduced 8-inch diameter product holds about 623 feet of pipe, while a reel of 6-inch product can carry about 1,083 feet, Anderson said.

The Houston-based company makes line pipe in diameters between 2 inches and 8 inches that can withstand up to 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, for use mainly in shale oil and gas plays, Anderson said. "Gas was really big about two years and now shale oil is more of a driver," he added.

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