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Turkish pipe maker might build plant in Oklahoma

Turkish steel pipe manufacturer Borusan Mannesmann is planning to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Oklahoma or Texas.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: January 4, 2013

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.

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