Steel Mills

Tenaris Starts Bay City Pipe Mill Operations

Written by Sandy Williams

Argentinian steel pipe manufacturer Tenaris has begun full operations at its new Bay City, Texas, mill. The $1.8 billion facility southwest of Houston will provide seamless pipe for shale and gas wells in the region.

“Tenaris is the architect of a new business model in the steel pipe sector,” said Germán Curá, Tenaris’ president for North America. “The heart of this transformation is in Bay City, with the most advanced pipe manufacturing facility in the world.”

The highly automated mill will operate on a just-in-time model using its Rig Direct system, which synchronizes the production of steel pipe with customers’ drilling operations through the direct delivery of pipes and services. Providing products directly to customers in the field helps lower storage, maintenance and inspection costs.

The new mill covers 1.2 million square feet and can produce 600,000 tons of OCTG annually. The facility relies on robotic systems to move steel from station to station and employs about 600 workers.

The Bay City site, along with Tenaris’ Houston and Freeport facilities, was closed briefly due to Hurricane Harvey, delaying completion and startup of operations. No major flooding or damage occurred, although more than a third of Tenaris’ employees in the region were displaced by the storm.

Tenaris hopes to take advantage of a resurgence in onshore and gas drilling in Texas and Oklahoma and provide oil and gas drillers a better alternative to Asian imports.

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