Boulogne-Billancourt, 15 February, 2010 -
Vallourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, announces today that it
will build a new state-of-the-art small diameter rolling mill in Youngstown, Ohio.
This decision is supported by the long term development of unconventional gas
production in the US which is driving increased demand for small diameter OCTG
tubes. The new mill, which will initially produce 350,000 tonnes per year, provides
an annual nominal rolling capacity of 500,000 tonnes of seamless tubes. The project
includes heat treatment and threading facilities. The investment will amount to
US$650 million, with operations expected to start by the fourth quarter 2011.
The project will create around 350 new direct jobs.
The exploitation of unconventional gas
resources has revolutionized the US gas market and, thanks to new technologies
lowering extraction costs, has become a sustainable source of gas supply. Shale
gas production typically requires an increased number of wells, horizontal drilling
and sand fracturing at high pressures. This implies higher volumes of small
diameter alloy pipes, with an increasing proportion of premium connections.
This new offer will complement the range produced
by Vallourec in North America and will consolidate the Group’s leadership
position as a provider of competitive and fully integrated premium tubular
solutions. Ideally located close to major shale basins (eg. Marcellus), and combined
with the Group’s other operations in the vicinity of other shale plays (eg. Fayetteville
or Haynesville), this new facility will benefit Vallourec’s customers in the
Philippe Crouzet, Chairman of Vallourec’s
Management Board stated: “This is a strategic investment to support our
customers in the development of America’s natural gas resources. 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 US
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.”