New Proppant Plant in the United States

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Saint-Gobain today announced the construction of a proppant plant in Saline County, Arkansas, in the United States.

Representing a total investment of $100 million (€ 69 million), the new facility will be built on a 28-hectare parcel of land and will eventually provide jobs for 140 people.

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.

Saint-Gobain already produces proppants in China and in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“This investment is part of Saint-Gobain’s strategy to invest in new technologies for energy and the environment,” says 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 facility. Saline County is the perfect location for the new plant because of its proximity to our major US oil and gas customers.”

Saint-Gobain plans to break ground for the new facility by the end of the year, with production expected to start in late 2012.