Thursday, August 26, 2010

Longview Port Breaks Ground on New Steel Pipe Plant

Port of Longview and local officials ceremoniously broke ground last week on a $9 million pipe fabrication facility at the port that will bring in hundreds of local construction jobs, and when complete, provide up to 65 full-time positions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual port and local government revenue.

In late June, the port signed a 12-year 15-acre lease with contractor IDM Longview. The contractor plans to build a 156,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and sub-lease it to New Jersey-based steel manufacturer Skyline Steel. The port also signed a lease with Skyline for 20 adjacent acres to be used for storage and parking. Skyline is a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based steel manufacturing giant ArcelorMittal.

The plant, which will manufacture large spiral-welded and straight-seam steel pipes mainly for the construction industry, is expected to be complete and open for operations by February.

IDM has already begun site preparation and expects to hire several hundred workers from over a dozen trades during the construction.

Because the port lease contains a buy-back clause that could lead to the port authority eventually owning the pipe factory, IDM will be required to pay prevailing, or union, wages during the construction of the facility – whether or not they hire union workers.

When the plant is fully operational, Skyline expects to have up to 65 full-time employees on staff.

Port officials estimate that the plant will bring in about $400,000 in lease payments to the port and $100,000 a year in local property tax.

The pipe facility, when complete, will be the third steel-manufacturing facility at the port.