NEW YORK American Steel Pipe will invest $55 million to add a 150,000-square-foot processing facility to its North Mill in Birmingham, Ala.
The expansion, which is slated for completion in 2014, will house two hydrotesters, two ultrasonic testing machines and a new end-facing and beveling machine.
The mills current processing facility will be decoupled and linked to the plants South Mill, doubling its processing capacity, the company said.
"Currently, pipe processing is our constraint. By doubling our processing capacity for both mills, its feasible we could double our output. That would mean an annual capacity of around 700,000 net tons," said Jon Noland, division sales manager for American Steel Pipe.
"Our aim is to have the new facility online by this time next year," American Steel Pipe senior engineering project manager Joe Thomas said.
The company also is undertaking other upgrades at its North Mill, including a new marking system, steel skelp leveler, weld stand, flying cutoff and seam annealers.
"With production upgrades and the new processing facility, we will be able to make pipe far more efficiently than we can now, allowing us to compete with anyone in the world on lead times for the highest-quality electric-resistant weld (ERW) steel pipe," Noland said.
American Steel Pipe, a division of Birmingham-based American Cast Iron Pipe Co., manufactures ERW line pipe in diameters from 10.75 to 20 inches at its South Mill and 16 to 24 inches at its North Mill.