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The new plant will manufacture proppants-spherical beads about the size of a grain of sand that are used in the oil and gas industry. Proppants are inserted into underground fractures in oil and gas wells to “prop” open the fracture, increasing conductivity and enhancing well performance.
“This investment is part of Saint-Gobain’s strategy to invest in new technologies for energy and the environment,” said John Crowe, Saint-Gobain general delegate in North America. “Growth in global energy demand is creating greater activity among oil and gas drilling companies, whose need for proppants will eventually exceed the production capacity of our Fort Smith (Ark.) facility. Saline County is the perfect location for the new plant because of its proximity to our major U.S. oil and gas customers.”
Saint-Gobain reportedly plans to break ground for the new facility by the end of the year, with production expected to start in late 2012. For more information, visit www.saint-gobain.com.