In response to the boom in oil and gas drilling in Texas and throughout the U.S., the world’s largest manufacturer of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry announced today that it plans to invest up to $1.5 billion dollars in a new manufacturing facility in Bay City, Texas.
“This will be a state of the art facility, devoted to the production of steel pipes” Germán Curá, President of Tenaris North America said in a press conference late this morning. “It will help meet the growing demands of the domestic energy industry particularly given the state of development of the shales, oil and gas, the resumption of deep water drilling in the gulf of Mexico.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry used the announcement as a opportunity to defend the Texas Enterprise Fund. That is a state fund used to attract business to Texas that has been singled out for cuts by state lawmakers. Perry said the offer of $6 million dollars from the fund had helped convince Tanaris to build the plant in Texas.
The decision to locate in Bay City may have also been spurred by the proximity to the major oil and gas drilling and the fact that Tenaris North American headquarters are already centered in nearby Houston.
Bay City has long been plagued by environmental problems related to the petrochemical industry. At the press conference State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) said there had been concerns that the plant could put Bay City into non-attainment of national air quality standards. He applauded “the work that was done by this community was not pulled into non-attainment wrongfully.”
According to Tenaris, the factory will employ around 600 people with an average salary of $66,000 a year.
The announcement comes the same day that residents learned the White Stallion coal plan would not be moving forward. The coal burning electric plant was proposed to be built in Matagorda County where Bay City is located.
The Tenaris plant should be running by 2016.