NEW CARSLISLE – A Texas company that makes well casings for the oil and gas industry plans to open a $12.1 million plant employing up to 150 workers in a retrofitted northern Indiana foundry that closed in 2008.
Tejas Tubular Products Inc. will convert the vacant Scott Brass foundry in New Carlisle about 15 miles west of South Bend into a plant where workers will heat-treat and harden well casings.
The Houston-based company expects to produce about 72,000 tons of casing annually.
Workers will thread the casings to make heavier-weight production casings in demand for oil and gas wells. Tejas Tubular vice president Darrell Ballinger said the North American energy industry has seen a recent boom largely because of the extraction of gas from shale.
"The shale technology has created real opportunity out there," Ballinger said.
St. Joseph County business growth director Greg Lorch told the Times of Munster the company plans to hire 100 workers by the end of next year and an additional 50 workers the following year.
He said Tejas Tubular picked New Carlisle in part because it is midway between the company's Ohio distributor and its Chicago-based supplier, Independence Tube, which will furnish the plant with tubing that workers will upgrade into a higher-quality product.
Ballinger said steel for the casings should come primarily from ArcelorMittal, which has mills in northwestern Indiana.