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Pipe dreams at Sault tube mill

$2 million in provincial cash to Tenaris helped reopen operation

Tenaris’ seamless pipe operation in Sault Ste. Marie received $2 million in re-startup money from the Ontario government, Aug. 25.

The mill received funding for various equipment and facility upgrades at Algoma Tubes to lower operating costs and improve energy efficiency.

The release said the money “allowed Tenaris to reopen their plant” following a temporary layoff of 130 employees and a suspension of operations in 2016.

Tenaris resumed operations last November after production was halted in March 2016 due to foreign dumped steel and a lengthy industry downturn.

Algoma Tubes makes seamless pipes for the oil and gas, automotive, and mechanical industries.

Formerly operated by Algoma Steel, the plant was bought by Tenaris S.A. of Luxembourg in a $12.5-million deal in 2003.

“An advanced manufacturing facility that is safe, energy efficient and environmentally compliant is in the best interest of Tenaris employees, customers, and our community,” said David McHattie, the company’s vice-president of public affairs, in a statement.

“The investment provided by the Ontario government is allowing Tenaris to modernize equipment to maintain regulatory compliance and enhance technological capabilities to better serve the Canadian energy industry.”

“By investing in manufacturing operations like Tenaris Algoma Tubes in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is strengthening the Northern economy and providing job opportunities for regional communities,” said Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle, the chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

“As a result of this important investment, a considerable number of high-skilled employees are returning to work, giving the community a significant economic boost,” said Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault.

“As the only Canadian manufacturer of seamless steel pipes, we are fortunate to have this world class facility in our community,” added Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano. “This investment to modernize Tenaris will ensure its sustainability for years to come.”