Natural-gas drilling will bring new coatings jobs to Pennsylvania’s struggling Monongahela River Valley, with the construction of Dura-Bond Industries’ third new pipe coatings facility in the Marcellus Shale Region.
Dura-Bond has manufactured and coated large diameter steel pipe at facilities in the region since the 1960s. The newest facility, announced in November, will be a 55,000-square-foot pipe coating facility with a storage capacity of 100 acres along the Monongahela River in Duquesne, PA.
The site is near the company’s current coating facility in McKeesport, outside Pittsburgh, and was chosen for its access to rail, truck and barge, the company said.
The plant is expected to employ 75 to 85 people when it opens next year. The facility will serve as a coating, staging and access point for the company, the company told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Dura-Bond Industries was founded in 1960 to provide corrosion protection services for manufacturers of steel products at the customers’ facilities. Not long after, the company began providing protective coatings for the fabricated steel and internal linings of underground storage tanks.
The company also developed a close working relationship with Bethlehem Steel and, in the 1970s, acquired a plant in High Point, NC, and the property of the former McKeesport Coatings near Export, PA. The company began production of bridge and marine fabrication projects in North Carolina, leading to the creation of Dura-Bond Steel. In the 80s, however, Dura-Bond sold the North Carolina plant and acquired a coating facility in Allentown, PA.
In the 1990s, Dura-Bond opened a fusion bond epoxy (FBE) coating facility in McKeesport, PA, near U.S. Steel’s Camp Hill ERW pipe manufacturing operation. Dura-Bond also began management of an FBE coating plant adjacent to Bethlehem Steel’s pipe manufacturing operation in Steelton, PA.
Extrusion (X-Tec) coating followed in 1996 at McKeesport, and soon all Dura-Bond facilities were able to coat, fabricate and furnish products to the oil and gas, heavy highway and marine industries.
Dura-Bond Industries today controls three wholly owned companies:
• Dura-Bond Steel Inc., based in Export, PA, fabricates structural steel for the marine and heavy highway markets and offers protective specialty coatings for steel products.
• Dura-Bond Pipe LLC, in Steelton, PA, manufactures steel line pipe in sizes ranging from 24” to 42” and provides internal and external epoxy coating and double jointing.
• Dura-Bond Coating Inc., in McKeesport, applies fusion bond epoxy to steel pipe 4” to 36” in diameter and extruded polyethylene coatings to pipe 1” through 20” in diameter.
Dura-Bond is API approved for steel pipe manufacturing, holds AISC Level II certification for steel fabrication and is SSPC certified for the application of protective coatings to steel products.
More Drilling, More Dollars
Growing interest in deep-well drilling into the Marcellus Shale helped spur development of the new Dura-Bond facility, Jason Norris, VP of commercial operations, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Marcellus Shale is a layer of rock deep under the Earth's surface that contains billions of gallons of natural gas. Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Corbett is a strong supporter of drilling in the Marcellus Shale. His advisory committee on environmental and energy issues includes several prominent lobbyists who represent Marcellus Shale drilling firms, according to The Scranton Times Tribune.
Norris said the company’s coatings and procedures were environmentally friendly.
"We want to see that everything is performed in a correct manner when it comes to this process,” he told the Post-Gazette. “We are good stewards of the environment and will continue to be. It is imperative that the needs for job and energy production can meet with the needs of the environment.”