International pipe manufacturer Welspun Corp. announced it will add 230 jobs and invest $30 million in its Little Rock, Ark., facility, the company’s first large-diameter pipe manufacturing location in North America. With this expansion, Welspun will employ more than 600 people and increase production operations to 24 hours a day. Welspun has already secured major orders from El Paso Corporation and TransCanada Pipeline and is exploring opportunities to export pipes for many large projects under way in Mexico.
According to theWall Street Journal, steel mills are showing signs of recovery. Overall, U.S. steel mills are operating at 70-75% capacity, a big increase from 2008 when they were operating at only 40-45% capacity. U.S. Steel CEO John Surma, who spoke at this week’s AISTech conference, sees signs of the economic recovery all around. The country’s wealth of natural resources will allow the steel industry to return to normal levels without the expense of importing the materials needed to produce steel. In other steel news, ArcelorMittal is moving forward with approximately $138 million in capital funding for three investments within its U.S. Flat Carbon operations, and Vallourec plans to construct a new state-of-the-art small-diameter rolling mill in Youngstown, Ohio.