Lufkin Industries expands operations to Romania Lufkin Daily News – July 13, 2010 By MELISSA HAYES
Lufkin Industries (Texas) will once again lengthen its international reach with the recent announcement of a new manufacturing plant in Romania.
Construction will begin on the facility, designed with a focus on oil pumping units, in the next three or four months, Lufkin Industries CEO and President Jay Glick said.
“This is a critical step to be able to serve markets in that part of the world,” Glick said.
Glick cites recent international success in the company’s Latin America market after a plant was built in Argentina. The company hopes to further its worldwide effectiveness in the Eastern Hemisphere.
“We were doing a limited amount of work in Latin America, but since that acquisition, we’ve really opened up that market,” Glick said. “What we’ve learned is that to be successful in the market, you have to be very local with native speakers and lot of things that would be difficult to do from Lufkin.”
The new location, near Ploiesti, which is just north of the capital Bucharest, had been under heavy consideration for a little more than a year. The company will build from the ground up on an 82-acre site with an estimated cost of $126 million.
Logistics, shipping costs and a centralized location drew Lufkin Industries to the Romanian location, Glick said. Historically, the European country was highly coveted during World War II for its century-old oil fields.
“There’s a big market there, and we think it’s a great gateway to central Asia, Russia and the Middle East,” Glick said. “They have a tradition for great engineers there, so it has a lot of things to recommend it from a manufacturing standpoint.”
The government has agreed to provide economic development incentives and financial assistance equalling approximately 30 percent of the project, according to a press release.
Romania is also a member of the European Union, which lends the country to political stabilization within one of the largest trading areas of the world.
An American manager has been in Romania for the past six months working to get plans under way and dealing with foreign government and policies. Glick said the more than 300-member workforce will be largely local with only a few Americans at the facility.
“This is a very good development for Romania, for our economy and for the region,” Romanian Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu stated in a press release, “because it will result in the creation of jobs, it will transfer modern manufacturing technology to our country’s oil and gas industry, it will boost exports, and it will use Romanian natural resources to generate revenue to the state budget.”
Glick also emphasized that a large portion of Lufkin Industries’ investments have been in the domestic arena lately, and its international ventures can only help the company, rather than hurt its American base.
“We don’t see this as taking away from the United States operations, as much as we see it just growing our international business,” Glick said. “This is a big step for the company.”
Eventually, the company hopes to manufacture power transmission products at the Romanian facility..