Pioneer Pipe plans new facility

WILLIAMSTOWN – A Marietta company is planning a fabrication site at the Wood County Airport Industrial Park.

The Wood County Airport Authority Tuesday morning met with Dave Archer, owner and chairman, and Matthew Hilverding, chief operating and financial officer, of Pioneer Pipe, who said plans are to lease the lot from current lease holder Joe Martin.

“Pioneer Pipe will use the location for the fabrication of pipe and steel as well as some trailer assembly,” Hilverding said. “Similar to what ICI did while they were in the (industrial) park.”

Rainbow Creek Development, a real estate company owned by the Pioneer Group that also owns Pioneer Pipe, will acquire the assets of the lease from Martin and lease the land to the company, Hilverding said.

“We like the location because it gives good access to the interstate and the airport itself,” he said.

The operation initially will have between six and eight employees with hopes to grow the operation.

“If things take off, we could have as many as 15 or 20 people per shift with multiple shifts per day,” Hilverding said. “We plan to start small and build as demand grows.”

Hilverding cited the boom in the oil and natural gas industry as the reason for Pioneer Pipe needing to expand.

“Things will start at the industrial park almost immediately with activity expected to be noticeable at the location later in the month,” he said.

Cam Huffman, president of the Wood County Development Authority, said he was not surprised by the announcement by Pioneer Pipe.

“The oil and gas industry has always been and continues to be a boon for us in the Parkersburg area,” Huffman said. “The drilling taking place in the northern part of the state is moving our direction, but we have seen a huge increase in business because Parkersburg has been part of the service industry as a lot of people use U.S. 50 to get to and from drilling spots.”

Huffman said his office has fielded many phone calls from all sectors of industry, not just with a focus of industrial corporations.

“The last four or five phone calls I’ve gotten are from Texas companies wanting to know about our area and what is going on here,” he said. “So, I really think a lot of the stuff we are seeing up-front is oil and gas related.”

Because of the announcement the cracker plant will be in Wood County, Huffman said he expects to see not only a growth in local companies, like Pioneer Pipe, but also others from not only outside the state, but outside the country.

“Because of what is going on now in Parkersburg, companies in Europe and Japan know about us and what is happening before we even get a chance to explain it,” Huffman said.