Tuesday, September 17, 2013

German Steelmaker Breaks Ground on Shreveport Mill

As further evidence of the impact of the Haynesville Shale on the region's economy, German steelmaker Benteler Steel/Tube broke ground on a $975 million hot rolling seamless tube mill in Caddo Parish, it's first in the U.S.  The company is also involved in developing a new training facility at Bossier Parish Community College that will train workers for Benteler and other high tech manufacturers.  Construction on the plant should be finished in late 2014 with operations commencing in mid-2015.  The facility is expected to be home to 675 full time jobs.

While many politicians will line up (behind Gov. Jindal) to take credit for this new plant, the truth is that the Haynesville Shale deserves the lion's share of the credit.  Given the play's location near the geographic center of the various land-based oil and gas basins and the fact that one quarter of Benteler's steel/tube products end up in the U.S., mostly for oil and gas drilling, the Haynesville Shale region is a natural.  It wasn't mentioned in the company's press release or articles on the groundbreaking, but I'm sure a ready source of natural gas to fuel the mill was also a significant factor in the decision.

The bottom line:  this new mill promises to be a big contributor to the state's economy and natural gas brought it home.

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