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VOL. 125 | NO. 1 | Monday, January 4, 2010

UPDATE: $300 Million Pipe Plant Announced For Tunica

By Bill Dries

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Three months after plans for a $1 billion hybrid automotive plant were announced in Tunica County, there are plans for a new pipe manufacturing facility in the North Mississippi county.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour announced in Jackson Monday that the Krefeld, Germany based company Wilh. Schulz GMBH has picked Tunica County as the site for its first facility in North America.

The $300 million plant is expected to create 500 new jobs in five years for the county which posted a 12.1 percent unemployment rate in November.

The announcement by Barbour in the state capital with Tunica County officials present was a contrast to the October announcement in Tunica by GreenTech Automotive Inc. Barbour was noticeably absent as Charles Wang talked of building 150,000 hybrid cars a year in a plan that is still awaiting financing.

Barbour said a package of state incentives for the pipe plant would be included in the agenda for a special session of the Mississippi legislature later this month. Such special sessions are routinely called in Mississippi to approve such incentives.

Rainer Floeth, managing director and CFO of Schulz, said his company had found the “perfect location” for a plant he described as a “crown investment.”

Tunica County officials have been anxious to add industrial plants like GreenTech and Schulz to a local economy in which casino gaming is the dominant employer followed by agriculture.

“Schulz’s new facility in Tunica County will employ state of the art pipe manufacturing processes and the company found the skilled and dedicate workforce necessary to make these operations a success here in Mississippi,” said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Gray Swoope in a written statement.

The Tunica plant will make “clad” pipes, a type of bonded pipe made without seams developed by Schulz for use in deepwater oil and gas fields.

Schulz executives say they already have orders for the pipes.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 98 172 17,556
MORTGAGES 101 194 20,229
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 9 2,654
BUILDING PERMITS 223 349 36,295
BANKRUPTCIES 52 115 11,279
BUSINESS LICENSES 26 58 5,767
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 27 27 6,741
MARRIAGE LICENSES 17 68 3,984