Brilex Industries and Houston-based Valerus formally opened their 50,000-square-foot facility on Andrews Avenue on Wednesday.
The partnership, first announced in November, will supply oil- and gas- production equipment to operators in the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Wednesday’s ribbon- cutting, which played host to local politicians, company executives and those from the Mahoning Valley business community, was the third such event to take place in Youngstown in less than two months related to the manufacture of goods for the oil and gas industry.
Exterran opened its 65,000-square-foot, $13-million facility in May on Salt Springs Road, followed by Vallourec Star, which opened its new $1.1 billion state-of-the-art seamless pipe mill at Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.’s former Brier Hill Works site earlier this month.
Combined, all three facilities created 420 jobs in the Valley, with all the companies anticipating more hiring in the near future as demand from the country’s growing oil and gas industry continues.
The Brilex/Valerus facility will manufacture equipment similar to that being built at Exterran.
Tanks, modular equipment, filters and other devices will help oil and gas companies with compressing, processing and treating their product as it makes its way from the well-head to pipelines for sale in markets across the country.
Peter Lane, chief executive officer of Valerus, said production is just getting up and running at the new $1.5 million facility.
Brilex employs 10 workers there, and Lane said as production picks up in the next six to 12 months, plans call for hiring more than 30 additional workers.
Alex Benyo, vice president of Brilex Industries, said the partnership has been an “overwhelming opportunity” for his company to “grow into a new market with potential to provide Brilex and its workers stability for a long time to come.”
Brilex was founded in 1996 as a full-service manufacturer that specializes in fabrication, machining and assembly, among other things.
It has since grown to include about 260 employees, Benyo said.
Lane said Valerus has grown rapidly in the last five years as a result of the country’s shale boom.
It employs more than 1,400 employees with operations in more than 25 countries worldwide.
The company first arrived in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale play in a service capacity two years ago.
Bill Bowers, vice president of production equipment product line at Valerus, said the company was struggling to fill orders in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The partnership with Brilex allowed Valerus to produce product faster and get it to market quicker, Lane added.
Valerus and local politicians such as Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone also credited the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber with bringing the Houston-based company to the Valley.
In 2010, the chamber sent a delegation of officials there to attract new companies.
Valerus met with them during that trip and learned of a number of options for production in the Valley.
Ultimately, Lane said Brilex was selected because both companies shared similar values and the manufacturing expertise at Brilex could not be ignored.