BAY CITY — Despite encountering some obstacles resulting in delays in construction, Tenaris officials remain optimistic their Bay City plant will be completed on schedule.

“Tenaris remains committed to the U.S. industry, and is positioning the company for sustainable and long-term growth in the domestic market,” Public Affairs Director Roberto De Hoyos said in an emailed statement.

About halfway through construction, officials have had to adjust the site’s construction schedule due to several factors, De Hoyos said.

Inclement weather along the Texas Gulf Coast as well as less drilling activity caused by a drop in oil prices have slowed construction of Tenaris’ Bay City plant, De Hoyos said.

Despite the setbacks, company officials expect the plant to be fully operational by 2017. It will manufacture steel pipe used in the transportation and production of oil and gas.

The project will be a big economic benefit, and already has had a positive impact, De Hoyos said.

According to a fact sheet provided by the company, the structure will bring in $1.4 billion to the area during the construction period, and more than $19 billion during its first six years of operation.

The $1.8 billion investment will create about 600 direct manufacturing jobs, with an average annual salary of $66,000 from a $40 million payroll. Officials estimate about 1,800 jobs associated with the plant will be established in Brazoria County.

“Tenaris Bay City is the cornerstone of our U.S. investment strategy. We’re engaging with the community, developing educational training opportunities and building long-lasting partnerships,” De Hoyos said.

The company’s hiring so far has been focused on the construction process, said Jennifer Miniard, regional recruiter for Tenaris Bay City. Hiring is based on project needs and will be adjusted as construction moves forward.

Although the attention is on construction jobs, Tenaris is taking steps to fill permanent jobs that will be ready when the plant is finished, Miniard said.

Tenaris contributed $575,000 to Wharton County Junior College to build a technical education building in Bay City, which will house a mechanical lab for a new manufacturing technology program, Miniard said.

“This school, now under construction, will allow students to learn highly demanding skills in the industrial manufacturing industry,” she said.

Miniard said the company is working with other schools in the area to build relationships and create opportunities.

Andy Packard is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0155.

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