MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 18, 2013

State approves funds for Port firm to expand

Project expected to yield 25 jobs

— A company with operations at the Port of Muskogee has received approval for a $2 million financing incentive, which will help bring additional jobs to the area.

V&M TCA, a subsidiary of the Vallourec Group, received a $2 million Economic Development Pooled Financing incentive issued through the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, according to a media release.

Brien Thorstenberg, the director of business and economic development for the Muskogee City-County Port Authority, said when the project was announced that the incentive would help the company with an $11.8 million expansion project that will replace equipment damaged in an October fire, upgrade and expand its physical plant, and add 25 jobs on top of the 40 jobs recently created.

V&M TCA operates a heat treatment, threading and finishing operation for seamless steel pipe at its Muskogee plant, on 116 acres at the Port of Muskogee.

The release says the project will facilitate the hiring of the additional 25 employees at an industry-competitive wage and full compensation package.

V&M’s investment and the incentive award will provide the capital for the company to purchase a new piece of equipment, a Bronx Straightener, and increase the physical plant to accommodate it.

The expansion will increase the plant’s production capacity and efficiency and reduce its raw material and utility costs. The project also will increase the number of full-time equivalent employees to approximately 220.

The plant’s general manager, Brian Sampson, said, “We are very appreciative of this incentive, and the assistance given by the Muskogee City-County Port Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce throughout the application process.

“The award provided the economic justification to move forward with the project at the present time.”

Thorstenberg said the project is a result of Oklahoma’s efforts to retain and expand  business.

“On a trade mission last fall, Governor (Mary) Fallin, the Department of Commerce and our department met with top officials of the Vallourec Group and the general manager of the Muskogee plant,” he said. “Governor Fallin traveled to Paris, France, to thank the company for doing business in Oklahoma.

“The company shared the issues faced by the Muskogee plant, and we were able to identify a program to help make their company more productive. This expansion strengthens the company’s commitment to our community and to Oklahoma.”

Fallin said part of her commitment to promoting economic growth and job creation in Oklahoma includes meeting with companies that are looking to invest or expand in Oklahoma.

“I met with key officials and told them about our efforts to build a more business-friendly environment in Oklahoma,” she said. “We’re excited they’ve expanded their investment in Oklahoma and are happy they are bringing more than two dozen good-paying jobs to Muskogee and eastern Oklahoma.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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