Pipeline company ceases expansion plans in Minot

Construction delays have prompted a pipeline manufacturing company to cancel its proposed Minot facility.

Minot Area Development Corp. president Jerry Chavez reported to the MADC board in a letter Friday that United Poly Systems of Springfield, Mo., will not be expanding into Minot. The Minot City Council had awarded $800,000 in a grant and forgivable loan in August 2013, but the company has not drawn on the funds.

“We are still looking at expansion in the area,” sales director Bert Bridges with United Poly Systems said in a prepared response from the company. “Due to continued delays, beyond our control, we had to step away from the current expansion plans in Minot. We appreciate all the hard work put in by the great people of the City of Minot & The State of North Dakota.”

The MADC letter stated that “delays in construction and other unforeseen circumstances caused the principals to withdraw.”

Chavez noted that the company and MADC have worked together since the award of the MAGIC Fund investment to advance the engineering, grading specification and rail design for a 15-acre site in east Minot.

Chavez and MADC chairwoman Kathy Aas declined additional comment until the board can meet to discuss the development.

United Poly Systems had planned to build a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, expandable to 70,000 square feet. The initial facility investment was estimated last summer at $2.5 million.

The company’s employment projections, on which the forgivable loan had been based, called for 20 full-time employees or equivalents by March 31, 2014, and 35 full-time equivalents a year later, with 50 full-time equivalents within three years.

United Poly Systems was established in 2011 in Springfield to produce high-density polyethylene pipe. The pipe is widely used in various industries, including telecommunications, power and utility, electrical and oil and gas.

Chavez, in his letter, stated that United Poly Systems offered an opportunity to diversify the local economy and become the first of many manufacturing facilities in the community.

“MADC will continue to look for businesses that diversify our local economy given the advantages and planned infrastructure that has been developed over the course of many years,” he wrote.