Oil and Gas Demand Fuels Timken Expansion Efforts in Ohio

Company considers increasing capacity to meet rising demand for products in energy industries and abroad.

The Timken Co. is exploring a $225 million capacity expansion in Ohio to accommodate growing demand for its products in emerging markets and oil and gas applications, company spokesperson Lorrie Paul Crum said Aug. 25.

The Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer of bearings and other steel products is in the process of developing a plan with suppliers and government officials to expand its Faircrest steel plant in Canton. Timken also said it will work with the United Steelworkers on a labor agreement that covers the facility.

The expansion would include investments in a ladle refiner and new large-bloom continuous caster. The company has not yet estimated the number of jobs that could result from the expansion, Paul Crum said.

Timken has set 2014 as the target production date for the planned additions.

Demand has increased for Timken's seamless mechanical steel tubing used in the oil and gas industry, particularly in Asia, Paul Crum said.

The company also has noticed more demand for drill bits used in horizontal drilling, Paul Crum said. The process has become a common method used to extract shale gas.

The investment would increase the facility's capacity by 25%, said Salvatore Miraglia, president of Timken's steel group.

"It also gives a wider large-diameter product selection to customers around the world who use our steel in a diverse range of demanding applications, including those in the heavy equipment and energy sectors," Miraglia said.

The company selected the Faircrest plant for a potential expansion because it's considered Timken's most advanced facility, Paul Crum said. In addition, U.S. machine suppliers that utilize Timken's products have expressed a desire for more strategic sources of domestic materials, Paul Crum said.

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