Construction is currently underway on the new North American headquarters for the Tubacex Group, an international industrial firm coming to Durant. The new 150,000-square-foot facility is estimated to generate 140 new jobs with a wage average of $55,000 per year.
The estimated $40 million-$50 million production plant, which is expected to manufacture a number of tubing products used in oil, aerospace and nuclear industries, is projected to be complete by the end of this year Durant City Manager Tim Rundel said.
“The end of this calendar year is when they are shooting for completion — somewhere around November or December,” Rundel said.
The city manager also shared his optimism for the local economic impact, taking into account the number of jobs and salary figures, of the project.
“It’s absolutely going to be a boost to our local economy,” Rundel said, “Because when you have employees and citizens making higher wages they can afford better houses, more financial freedom and more income to put back into the local economy. It’s a win-win for both Tubacex and the city of Durant.”
Rundel spoke about a meeting Durant Mayor Oden Grube and Vice Mayor Steve Brittingham recently had with officials from the Durant Industrial Authority, city staff and the Durant Chamber of Commerce to discuss final plans with Tubacex Group’s Javier Lorenzo and Vanessa Hurtado. Rundel described the meeting as optimistic and said all parties involved are full of excitement for the opportunity.
“They (Tubacex) are very excited about beginning this new chapter, moving their headquarters from Pennsylvania to Durant, Oklahoma,” Rundel said, “It’s a big investment for them and I believe they are excited for all the opportunities that relocating to Oklahoma will provide.”
The company, which operates out of Llodio, Spain, announced its planned move earlier this year. In April, Durant Industrial Authority Interim Executive Director Paul Buntz said the project had taken over a year to complete. He also explained the firm is receiving a number of incentives from the state of Oklahoma, as well as tax abatements and local grants to help with infrastructure costs and tax abatements.
“It continues our momentum of having a skilled labor force and good jobs in Durant,” Buntz said at the time. “We’re excited to have them come to Durant. We spent a lot of time looking at the needs of the company.”
Buntz said Durant was chosen because of its proximity to the oil industry in Texas. He said it is another example of the growing industrial sector in Durant. Buntz said in addition to this new plant, nearly 200 other jobs have been added from new manufacturing jobs in the last two years.
One of the benefits Buntz said Tubacex brings is it will help raise the average wage in both Durant and Bryan County.
“Southeastern Oklahoma has been relatively low wages,” Buntz said. “We are trying to bring better paying jobs to this area.”
He added the wage range from all the new plants has been between $45,000 and $65,000 which he said has been a help in increasing the average wage in the county.
Durant Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janet Reed said the Tubacex plant will be a “great addition” to the community. She said the city is expecting the firm to boost its sales tax revenue with the new jobs.
“Durant has been seeing a tremendous amount of movement in the industrial segment for the last 15 years,” Reed said earlier this year. “A lot of people had said it has slowed but it has been going strong. Tubacex is building, other firms are looking at other pieces of property. We continue to grow and industry continues to come in — we are looking at other projects in the near future.”
The Chamber director said there has been a strong interest in the area from companies from overseas. Reed said the U.S. as a whole has become more attractive to bringing those industries in and what makes Durant stand out is its proximity to the rest of the country, with easy access to the Midwest, coastal states and Texas.
“We think we will see continued growth in Durant and hopefully continue to prosper as we have in the past, not only with industrial growth but with retail growth as well,” Reed said.