Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welspun to add 200 jobs at Little Rock pipe plant

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM

STILL MORE JOBS: Gov. Beebe at previous announcement by Welspun, which is expanding again.
  • STILL MORE JOBS: Gov. Beebe at previous announcement by Welspun, which is expanding again.

It will be interesting to see how Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, the Arkansas Republican Party and its paid mouthpieces on the web spin this:

For the second time in its three-year history of operation in Arkansas, international pipe manufacturer Welspun Corp. Ltd today announced it will expand again, adding 200 jobs and investing an additional $100 million in its Little Rock, Ark., facility, the company’s first large-diameter pipe manufacturing location in North America. With this expansion, Welspun will bring total overall investment to $280 million since opening in April 2009.

Pipe produced by Welspun is primarily used in the gas and oil industry.

You may recall that the delay in approval of the Keystone pipeline is cited tirelessly and tiresomely and inaccurately by Republicans as costing jobs in Little Rock. Apparently Welspun is doing OK. (As I've written before, 60 part-time workers were laid off temporarily from a short-term job loading pipe as a result of the Keystone decision, but a plant official said they'd eventually have the work to perform regardless.) Undoubtedly Welspun would like Keystone and many more pipelines to be built, but the market is apparently strong. It has already completed manufacture of all the Keystone pipe, by the way, though some finishing remained when last I checked. TransCanada is obligated to buy it regardless of the outcome of Keystone, on which planning is proceeding for a new route.

Roby Brock reports the state payout on the expansion: $4.5 million for site prep;
$300,000 for training; payroll tax rebates for 10 years; sales tax refund on construction materials.

Welspun had said when it expanded in 2010 that its pay averaged $17 an hour, counting some higher-skill engineering and technical jobs. Entry level jobs started at $12 an hour. 200 jobs at $17 an hour might produce as much as $400,000 a year in state income tax withholding, though likely a good bit less after deductions. So, at a minimum, it will take 10 years for income tax payments alone to repay the state payout for site prep. Other rebates add significantly to the state cost. Materials come from out of state, Welspun has said. The jobs have a multiplier effect in the community as the pay is spent, however. And there will be a temporary boost from construction work.

More on today's announcement:

The announcement was made at a news conference hosted by Martin M. Rhodes, Chairman of the Board of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Commenting on this investment, Mr. B. K. Goenka, Chairman of Welspun said, “We are extremely delighted at the performance of our Little Rock facility, which has cemented the firm’s global reach in servicing some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. We believe that this new investment will pave the way for Welspun to continue on its path of becoming one of the most respected line-pipe companies in the world and we are thankful to the City of Little Rock for the support that they have extended in fulfilling our dream.”

Initially employing more than 300 people, the company announced its first expansion one year later that added 230 jobs and an additional $30 million investment.

“Welspun invested in Arkansas when the national economy was in bad shape,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “That faith in our workforce and our business community has paid off for both Welspun and Little Rock, and today they are reinforcing their confidence in us with another significant investment in Arkansas.”

Located on 740 acres adjacent to the Port of Little Rock, Welspun’s state-of-the-art spiral pipe and coating facility has an annual production capacity of more than 350,000 tons of pipe.

“Welspun’s decision to develop a new small diameter pipe assembly line in Little Rock sends a strong signal to the economic development world that Little Rock is a prime location for business expansion in the U.S.,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “The City of Little Rock is pleased to partner with the Little Rock Regional Chamber and its Stock in The Rock investors, the Little Rock Port, AEDC and Governor’s Office in facilitating this third Welspun announcement in four years.

“Our citizens have a strong work ethic, and we are perfectly situated to easily reach the four corners of our country with port, rail, air and highway transportation systems,” Stodola continued. “Welspun, as both a new and expanding industry, understands this importance and is capitalizing on Little Rock’s becoming one of the preeminent pipe manufacturing locations in the world.”

Through this expansion, Welspun will expand their product line of steel pipes to include the production of 6-inch to 20-inch ERW steel pipes. The new manufacturing lines will be located in a second building on 44 acres purchased by the company.

“Welspun has a strong history of growth and profitability in the oil & gas line pipe industry and is at the cusp of becoming a leading, global integrated pipe manufacturer,” said Dave Delie, president of Welspun Tubular. “The track-record of operational performance at Welspun is unique and the management is committed to building on our current, impressive capabilities.”

“Engineering excellence is the core to Welspun and we believe that with this investment, we will catapult Little Rock as an important destination in the “World of Pipe,” said Rajesh Mandawewala, managing director of Welspun. “We have full trust and confidence in Welspun’s management team and believe that the team will continue to deliver superlative results.”

Additional information can be found at

Tags: , , , ,


Speaking of...

  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    July 21, 2016
    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia. /more/
  • Glatfelter to open $80 million paper plant in Fort Smith

    March 1, 2016
    Glatfelter, a Pennsylvania-based international manufacturer of specialty papers, will open a new manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, the company announced today. The company stated that it would create up to 84 high-skilled manufacturing jobs at the $80-million plant. /more/
  • Former Gov. Mike Beebe endorses Clark Mason for Arkansas Supreme Court

    February 18, 2016
    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe today endorsed Clark Mason for the Arkansas Supreme Court. /more/
  • Social entrepreneur writes about racism and lack of high-speed Internet in Dumas

    February 5, 2016
    Leila Janah, the CEO of a buzzy nonprofit that helps poor people find tech jobs, has a post on Medium about her experience with systemic racism and the lack of access to high-speed broadband in Dumas. The nonprofit she founded and heads as CEO, Samasource, hires low-income people around the world to perform digital tasks for companies like Google, Walmart and Getty Images. /more/
  • Keystone pipeline company seeks delay

    November 3, 2015
    A delay has been requested in government review of the Keystone pipeline route, apparently in hopes a coming presidential administration will be friendlier. Meanwhile, it's worth a review of the hypocrisy of Arkansas politicians on the project. /more/
  • Clean energy has its Keystone moment

    October 21, 2015
    Arkansas Business publishes today a good story from Reuters, focusing on Arkansas property owners, about resistance to electricity transmission lines that would carry "clean" power generated by wind to consumers. It's an environmental winner, except aesthetically. /more/
  • Arkansas cuts uninsured rate in more than half in wake of Obamacare, leads nation

    August 11, 2015
    Since the enactment of Obamacare's major coverage provisions in 2014, Arkansas has seen its rate of uninsurance cut in more than half — falling from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 9 percent in the first half of 2015 — according to the latest numbers from Gallup. That's the biggest drop in the nation. It's a remarkable achievement, and of course credit must go to the Arkansas legislature and former Gov. Mike Beebe for enacting the private option, which covers 250,000 Arkansans. /more/
  • Womack gets plucked by 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

    May 18, 2015
    HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premiered last April, has consistently shown itself to be a Daily Show-level contender for the humor-news crown. Up for discussion on the show last night: the myriad ways major poultry producers exploit chicken farmers. Also featured in the video: Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, who gets plucked and roasted for placing a rider on the agriculture appropriations bill that forbids the USDA from enforcing already-written protections for the nation's poultry farmers. /more/
  • $4 billion tech company calls it quits in Indiana over anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' bill.

    March 26, 2015
    Take heed, Arkansas: the same day Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana announced he would sign the state's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" — an anti-LGBT bill with disturbing similarities to Rep. Bob Ballinger's HB 1228 — a $4 billion tech company announced they're pulling up stakes there rather than "require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination." Ouch. /more/
  • Lindsey's Resort on Little Red River to close after 50 years

    March 23, 2015
    A note on the website of Lindsey's Resort, the popular trout-fishing destination on the Little Red River at Heber Springs, says the resort will be forced to close due to a bank foreclosure. /more/
  • More »

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Wednesday line and video round-up

    • "Nice Arkansas Democrat-Gazette front page today. The historic event of a woman being nominated for…

    • on July 28, 2016
  • Re: The Wednesday line and video round-up


    • on July 28, 2016
  • Re: The Wednesday line and video round-up

    • "Carl Bernstein said on Wednesday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks regarding Russian hackers…

    • on July 28, 2016



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation