Company IntroductionTianjin Pipe (Group) Corporation has been supplying seamless steel pipe to major international oil and gas companies for two decades, including companies throughout the U.S. Gulf Coast region. It exports to over 100 countries today and also expects the TPCO America facility to develop a substantial export market.
Given growing global demand for steel pipe in the energy industry, beginning in 2007, the company undertook a comprehensive, market-based global survey for this seamless pipe project. After reviewing approximately 70 sites in the USA, it selected one in San Patricio County, in the heart of the U.S. oil patch and shale revolution.
Tianjin Pipe (Group) Corporation is moving towards investing in excess of $1 billion through TPCO America to build a state-of-the-art seamless steel pipe manufacturing facility on a 253-acre site east of Gregory, Texas. When completed, the TPCO America facility will be the largest single investment by Chinese company in a US manufacturing facility.
Since 2007, the San Patricio Economic Development Corporation, the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, and numerous officials and citizens have worked to encourage this investment. A preliminary study projected a total boost to the local economy of approximately $2.7 billion over the first decade of construction and operation of the facility.
TPCO America is being constructed in two phases.
Phase one - End Finishing FacilityThe End Finishing Facility takes plain-ended pipe (green pipe) and turns it into finished casing to be used in oil and gas production. Construction of the phase one End Finishing Facility began in 2011 and was completed in 2014. Shortly afterwards, commissioning and trial production begun. Through the end of 2014, just over 1000 metric tons of finished pipe were produced. TPCO America has already secured the required air permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and a 5CT Monogram license from the American Petroleum Institute.
Phase one employees 70+ employees, most of which are local operators and management. In order to train the local workforce, TPCO America has put into place a mentor system, utilizing technical experts from Tianjin Pipe Group to train local operators in a hands-on and immersive method. Technical experts come to the U.S. for short periods of time to train local employees in all aspects of operating and maintain equipment. Then, after reaching proficiency, local employees are encouraged to become certified trainers, so that they may train the next wave of new employees.
Phase two - Rolling MillThe Rolling Mill will use raw steel billet to produces plain end pipe to be fed into the End Finishing Facility. Construction started on the phase two Rolling Mill in mid-2014 with an expected completion date of late 2016. As the Rolling Mill begins operations, it will employ an estimated workforce of 300-400 people. Once production ramps up, the operational workforce may ultimately expand to estimated 600-800 workers.
The facility will be fueled by electricity and natural gas and will utilize Best Available Control Technology and cutting-edge processes that reduce emissions, conserve energy, and decrease environmental impacts. The facility will recycle water and retain storm water for reuse. When operational, the TPCO America facility will produce annually approximately 500,000 metric tons of 4" through 10 3/4" seamless steel pipe principally for use in the energy industry, both here and abroad.
By supplying seamless steel pipe as an alternative to imported seamless steel pipe, TPCO America will help promote domestic energy security and domestic manufacturing output. Even at full capacity, the facility will be able to meet less than one third of the demand currently met by suppliers located outside the United States.