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Construction ready to start at former Bethlehem site

Photo from Welded Tube Website

A Welland, Ontario company is confident enough in its knowledge of northern winters that it's starting construction immediately of what will be a major manufacturing complex on the old Bethlehem Steel site.

Welded Tube wants to have a new plant up and running before July 1 and to do that, work has to start on the 109,000 square foot first phase of the project.

Eventually, nearly $50 million will go into phase one, with two more phases totaling an additional 60,000 square feet. At that point, Robert Pike says the company plans to have 121 workers.

Pike is the vice president and capital projects manager in charge of turning a vacant 45 acres in the Tecumseh Business Park into Welded Tube USA.

Pike says the plant will build pipe used to drill wells for hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.

"It's highly regulated, highly inspected and it's highly scrutinized from our end as far as the quality processes that it goes through before it goes to the customer."

Pike says a 5,000-foot well requires 125 lengths of the company's special pipe as a liner. Eventually the plant will turn out four lengths a minute.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.