The new mill, which initially will produce 350,000 tons per year, will provide an annual nominal rolling capacity of 500,000 tons of seamless tubes. The project will include heat treatment and threading facilities, according to the company.
The Vindicator newspaper quoted one local economic development official as saying the V&M plant will be the largest manufacturing facility built in the region since General Motors constructed its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant in the 1960s.
Construction will start next month, and the facility is expected to begin operations by the fourth quarter of 2011.
According to Vallourec, the decision to build a new pipe mill "is supported by the long-term development of unconventional gas production in the U.S., which is driving increased demand for small-diameter OCTG tubes."
"This is a strategic investment to support our customers in the development of America's natural gas resources," said Philippe Crouzet, chairman of Vallourec's management board. "We are excited about the opportunities that this new investment brings for the development of the Group. This project capitalizes on our long-term commitments to the U.S. market, our local business partnerships, as well as the support of federal, state and municipal governments. Specifically, we benefit from the talent and skill of our workforce who have demonstrated their ability and commitment to delivering world-class products and excellent customer service."