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Hanson Pipe & Precast Opens State-of-the-Art Houston Facility

Hanson Pipe & Precast today announced the opening of their new, state-of-the-art, fully automated Houston facility. Some of the technology at the 100,000-square-foot Houston facility will be used for the very first time in the world. The facility is designed to produce considerable amounts of concrete pipe products, including those used for storm water drainage systems, sewers and water treatment, for the growing Houston market. The facility will be fully operational in March and a grand opening gala is planned to benefit the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Houston is one of Hanson's largest markets in North America. Due to the city's flat topography, proximity to the Gulf and the fact that it's only about 40 feet above sea level, Houston is prone to hurricanes and this fuels demand for Hanson's water control products.

Hanson Pipe & Precast is a division of Hanson PLC, a world leader in providing heavy building materials to the construction industry. Hanson Pipe & Precast is North America's largest manufacturer of concrete pipe and precast products, including residential and commercial building components, bridges, manholes and retaining walls; as well as being a premier producer of steel and pressurized pipe.

"With the ability to produce, on average, one pipe per minute, the technology in this facility greatly increases our production efficiency while maintaining an environmentally friendly and safe workplace and providing the highest quality concrete pipe," said Clifford Hahne, Hanson's South Central region president. "We are proud to produce the infrastructure of much of the Houston area's systems that keep the community safe and water clean."

A grand opening celebration on March 22 with Houston area community leaders and Hanson customers will mark the official opening of the new facility. Attendees will take part in a tour of the new facility and an evening of festivities.

Hanson's growth in Houston mirrors the manufacturing industry overall growth in Texas. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the production index for manufacturing activity in January rose to 13.8; a marked increase from -5.2 in December. Positive index readings denote expansion while negative numbers signify contraction.

The new facility, located at 11201 F.M. 529, and managed by Mike Cline, adds production capability to Hanson's site in Jersey Village. The three facilities on that site currently employ approximately 250 people. Hanson also has a facility at 6800 Helmers Street in Houston that produces reinforced concrete pipe, pressure pipe and corrugated steel pipe.

The innovations in technology in this facility make it possible to produce 500 tons of product per production shift. Pipe is produced on the three- station rotary turntable automated Hawkeye PipePro96 Machine; this machine also includes modules for creating varying diameters of pipe. This means that multiples of varying diameter pipe can be produced at the same time, as long as the total diameter of the pipes being made are 96 -- for instance, the machine can manufacture six 24" pipe at one time, two 48" pipe or one 96" pipe. Hanson's new Houston facility is one the first concrete pipe facilities in the U.S to use a fully automated curing system that controls heat and humidity independently and is designed for any length or continuous productions shifts.

Houston is part of Hanson's South Central operating region based in Grand Prairie, Texas. The South Central region services Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The region's 27 facilities produce product used for community and roadway development such as reinforced concrete pipe, drainage structures, modular bridges and pressure pipe.

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