Turkey's leading steel pipe manufacturer is planning to build a $150 million manufacturing plant in Oklahoma or Texas.
Borusan Mannesmann, already one of the foremost manufacturers for the European steel pipe industry, expects to be a global player when its new U.S. plant starts production in 2014.
“This investment is not only a way to insert Borusan Mannesmann into the U.S. market; it is also the first step to becoming an international manufacturer,” Borusan Holding Group CEO Agah Ugur said in a news release.
About 40 percent of the company's exports already are bound for the United States.
Officials said the company has not settled on a site for its new plant, but Oklahoma and Texas are the leading states because of their incentive programs.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma Commerce Department did not know any details about the planned steel plant, but the state can offer a variety of incentives to promote job growth, including tax credits tied to hiring and capital investments.
Borusan Mannesmann expects to hire 350 people at its U.S. plant, which would be able to produce up to 300,000 tons of pipe a year.
Mike Seney, senior vice president of policy analysis and strategic planning at the State Chamber of Oklahoma, said such jobs pay an average of $43,000 a year, while economic multipliers could result in the creation of nearly 1,400 new jobs.
“I think this is exactly the kind of strong manufacturing base that we're trying to develop,” he said.
Seney said there are several potential sites for the plant in Oklahoma.
He said the state's location makes it a perfect distribution center for North America, with ready access to cross-country highways and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.
“We have more going for us than any other state in the country, really,” Seney said.
Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association Chairman Mike Terry said the project would be a boon to the state.
“This is yet another example of how the oil and natural gas industry is one of the only industries in the world creating significant jobs,” Terry said. “The oil and natural gas industry continues to be Oklahoma's most vibrant industry and will remain the backbone of the state's economy.
“Continued investment in the nation's oil and natural gas industry shows a long-term commitment for America to reach energy independence and Oklahoma will play a key part in that.”
Borusan Mannesmann has been in business for more than 50 years, growing into one of the leading pipe manufacturers in the world. It can produce up to 1 million tons of pipe a year.
The company has become one of the largest international suppliers to the U.S. oil and natural gas industry over the past three years, doubling its exports to $184 million in 2012.
Borusan Mannesmann is looking to establish itself as a local manufacturer to be closer to its U.S. customers.
The company's planned plant is designed to produce the thick-walled and high-strength pipes suitable for state-of-the-art, advanced tubular technology used in shale natural gas production.
It will be built on nearly 125 acres of land once a site is chosen.
“We are now becoming the first Turkish company to invest in the steel pipe sector in the United States with this venture,” Ugur said. “We have a strategic and long-term view of the American market due to its size and quality approach.
“Favorable changes to the energy policies in the United States, as well as the advancements in the shale gas technology, were the factors that hastened our investment decision at this time of global recession.”