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With a fabulous view of the Organ Mountains to the east, Big Tuna Pipe is open and operating on 13 acres at 1846 W. Amador Ave.
Big Tuna began production in Las Cruces in late March and expects to produce about 14 miles of pipe before the end of 2020, said Big Tuna Director of Operations Mike Watters. The property is fully graded and landscaped, with about 30,000 square-foot of building space currently in use.
Big Tuna uses five high-tech conveyer belts and a large number of shipping containers that the company bought in Santa Teresa to make its product.
The company “holds the exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute a high-density pipe product patented by Australian-based Long Pipes Ltd.,” the New Mexico Economic Development Department said in a news release when the company announced in January that it would open a manufacturing center in Las Cruces. “The product has a significantly larger internal diameter and a higher pressure rating than current market solutions. The initial target market for the piping is the oil and gas industry for process water management systems.”
Most of the pipe it produces in Las Cruces will be shipped to eastern New Mexico and west Texas, Watters said. But that could expand as Big Tuna expands into additional industries, he said, including mining and potable and non-potable water.
By year’s end, Watters said Big Tuna should have 20 employees at work in Las Cruces. The company plans to expand to 70-100 employees as it increases capacity, which could reach 1,000 miles of pipe a year, he said.
Big Tuna produces 10-, 12-, 16- and 20-inch pipe that is extremely sturdy but surprisingly light-weight, weighing in at 7.5 pounds per foot, Watters said. Most of the pipe it produces and ships is in 50-foot lengths, he said.
Working with the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA) and the City of Las Cruces to find a home for Big Tuna in Las Cruces and begin production, “things have gone pretty smoothly,” Watters said. Production has not been slowed by COVID-19, he said, except for occasional and brief shipping delays.
“We were excited to work with our partners at the State and MVEDA to recruit Big Tuna to Las Cruces,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said. “The City Council supported them by passing a LEDA agreement to help them pay for land, building, and infrastructure in exchange for 30 new jobs in our community. These were higher than median wage jobs that will be open for local Las Cruces residents. This ribbon cutting event was another milestone for Big Tuna to hire and grow in our community and we are looking forward to the impact this will have to our overall economy.”
“We see a very bright future with this company,” Watters said at a January news conference in Las Cruces. The company is based in Wheatridge, Colorado.
For more information, contact Watters at email@example.com.