Vallourec announced the dedication of its new pipe mill in Youngstown, Ohio, to serve the North American market for the production of shale hydrocarbons. With an initial annual production capacity of 350,000 tons of small-diameter seamless tubes, the mill represents an investment of $ 1.05 billion and employs 350 people. Located within the existing Vallourec Star facility, it delivered its first pipe in December 2012 and will ramp-up throughout 2013. The integrated site includes a steel mill, a mill specializing in medium-diameter tubes (from 5 to 10 3/4 inches) and the new mill, which specializes in the manufacture of tubes 2 3/8-7 inches in diameter.
In other news, Vallourec announced the inauguration of its plant dedicated to the manufacturing of tubes for steam generators located in Nansha, a district of Guangzhou, in southeastern China. This new plant of Valinox Nucléaire, a Vallourec subsidiary specializing in the production of tubes for nuclear power plants, will eventually employ 200 people. The plant will enable Vallourec to accompany the large rise in the number of Chinese nuclear power plants, whose capacity is expected to increase from 15 GW in 2013 to 58 GW in operation in 2020, with an additional 25 GW under construction at that date.