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Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) has announced that Welded Tube USA, a subsidiary of Welded Tube of Canada that produces tubular steel for the oil and gas industries, will invest approximately $50 million on the construction of a new facility in the Tecumseh Business Park in the City of Lackawanna.
Welded Tube’s investment will occur in three phases, and consists of the construction of a 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility that will house a state of the art pipe mill. Future phases of the plan call for construction of a 34,000 square foot hydro testing facility and a 30,000 square foot pipe threading and coupling facility. The project has been more than a year in the making, with BNE officials first establishing contact with Welded Tube through their outreach efforts in Canada in January of 2011. Market demand was a driving force behind the new planned investment.
“We see great potential for our product in the US market and a great opportunity to develop that potential right here in the Buffalo Niagara region,” said Welded Tube Vice President Robert Pike. “I would especially like to thank our project partners at the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise for their tireless work and their commitment on this project,” Pike added. The BNE provided a comprehensive menu of assistance that included site selection, coordination of and access to incentives, and workforce development and utility assistance.
“Welded Tube is the latest in a growing trend of Canadian manufacturers that see the benefits of selecting the Buffalo Niagara region for their expansion and growth into the U.S. market,” said BNE President & CEO Thomas A. Kucharski. “Whether it is affordable and available sites, a productive workforce, a strong vendor supply chain, low-cost power or our advanced transportation network, there are many reasons why manufacturing is very much alive and well in our region and an important part of revitalizing our economy,” Kucharski said.
As is the case with many manufacturing processes, access to electricity and low cost hydro-power were key to successfully bringing Welded Tube to the region, and Kucharski praised both National Grid and the New York Power Authority for their assistance.
Headquartered in Concord (Toronto), Ontario, Welded Tube currently employs over 600 people in North America at 5 facilities in Canada and 1 in South Carolina. The company plans on hiring 25 people as part of the first phase, with that number to grow incrementally as the facility becomes fully operational over subsequent phases.
BNE President & CEO Tom Kucharski credited relationship building in Canada and consistent marketing of the region’s assets as being key factors behind successful announcements like Welded Tube’s expansion.
“Opportunities like Welded Tube’s $50-million investment in our community don’t just happen by luck,” said Kucharski. “These projects discover our community because of a sustained and consistent message being marketed throughout southern Ontario. They decide to locate here because they are assisted by very professional and knowledgeable business development managers who help navigate their projects through a maze of public incentives and private service providers that make their project financially feasible in our community. Today’s announcement illustrates the effectiveness of the marketing and business development tactics that BNE is employing in our Canadian businesses attraction work,” Kucharski added.
The BNE has been aggressively marketing the Buffalo Niagara region in Canada since 2005, expending almost $1 million on marketing campaigns and initiatives north of the border over the last six years. From 2002 to the present, BNE has successfully reported 55 Canadian project wins, representing $508,893,383 in investment, 1,201 new Jobs and 286 retained jobs for a total positive Job Impact of 1,487.