Vallourec officials, during a dedication ceremony June 12, 2013, said its Youngstown facility is on the way to becoming the oil and gas industry’s first fully integrated manufacturing plant in the United States.
Officials were on hand for a press conference and ceremony at Vallourec’s new state-of-the-art seamless pipe mill, a sprawling 1-million-square-foot plant with the ability to produce up to 500,000 tons of pipe per year used for hydraulic fracturing.
With an ability to make steel, roll and treat it and finish the pipe, the Youngstown facility will prove crucial to Vallourec’s operations in North America, where there is “huge demand” for the pipe that the facility is manufacturing, said Skip Herald, managing director of Vallourec OCTG North America, the company’s oil and gas wing here.
Philippe Crouzet, chairman of the Vallourec management board said the France-based company, which operates manufacturing facilities in more than 20 countries, has set a goal of becoming the country’s No. 1 domestic supplier of tubular products.
He said the Youngstown facility is pivotal to that goal, as it accounted for 29 percent — more than any other facility in Vallourec’s fold — of global revenues, on sales of $6.7 billion in 2012.
Though the company deals with a range of other industries, including electric power generation, the oil and gas segment accounted for 61 percent of those sales last year, Crouzet said at today’s news conference.
In all ,the company projects a 3.5 percent annual growth rate for its oil and gas products, while it anticipates an 8 percent annual growth rate across its other production platforms in separate industries.
Herald added that if demand spikes significantly, another expansion could occur at the Youngstown facility in the future, which he said would mean more jobs down the road.
More than 200 local and state officials, members of the Mahoning Valley business community and other VIP’s, including former Youngstown mayor Jay Williams, who was on hand representing the White House. Mayor Charles Sammarone joined a bevy of others in cutting the ribbon and formally opening the new fully automated seamless pipe mill, which was first announced in 2010 and began producing pipe last year.
About 350 jobs were generated by the facility.
Crouzet thanked local and state officials for their support in helping to make the plant a reality. He said the company’s commitment to Youngstown, the region and the state will not waver.
A large part of today’s seamless pipe mill dedication event was also aimed at launching the company’s new brand name here, Vallourec Star, which will fall under the wing of the Vallourec group and help promote product quality and drive global sales, according to company officials.
Vallourec Star in Youngstown, Herald said, is not dependent on any particular shale play, making its supply chain stronger against any potential bust that might occur in particular areas if producers turn elsewhere for unconventional drilling.
Vallourec employs about 23,000 people worldwide, with 2,900 of them in North America. At its Youngstown facility about 96 percent of its employees are from Pennsylvania and Ohio.