- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Texas-based manufacturer plans to expand its operations into Nebraska and bring an estimated 200 jobs to the Norfolk area thanks to the help of local governments and a steel company, officials announced Thursday.

Tejas Tubular Products Inc. is expected to begin construction on a new, 350,000-foot facility later this year, with a target completion date in 2015. The company is a leading supplier of alloy products and other materials used in gas and oil wells, serving customers throughout the world.

Company executives made the announcement during a news conference at the Nebraska Capitol, along with Gov. Dave Heineman and community and business leaders from the Norfolk area.

The company will apply for tax incentives under the Nebraska Advantage Act, a state law designed to lure business investment to the state. The company needs a minimum investment of $109 million and 50 new jobs to qualify.

The state is also contributing $1.4 million from a site building and development fund, and Norfolk has earmarked $3.6 million for the project.

Nucor Steel Bar Mill of Norfolk will also provide more than 150,000 tons of steel products for the pipeline company in a business agreement. The steel products include casing, drill pipe and line pipe for oil and gas production.

Max Tejeda, the CEO of Tejas Tubular, said he had originally considered moving to South Dakota to be closer to the oil fields in North Dakota. But Tejeda said he was swayed by the pitch from the steel company.

“The amount of support that we have received in various areas is really tremendous,” he said. “That’s the main reason why we’re here.”

Heineman credited local elected officials and business leaders for their work in drawing the company to Nebraska.

“The one thing I know that’s true about Nebraska: You can trust our people,” Heineman said. “When our business and community leaders say we’re going to do something, we do it. And it’s a partnership for a lifetime.”

Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman said the new business will strengthen the city’s position as a leading steel production town in the Midwest.

“Bringing Tejas Tubular to Norfolk is a monumental accomplishment for this community and all of northeast Nebraska,” she said.

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