Drilling tool firm invests in Kilgore property

By Mike Elswick
Kilgore News Herald
Published: 09/06/2011

Another cog in the diversification of the East Texas workforce eased into place this past week in this city's Synergy Park.

Drilltools was officially welcomed by city and state officials during a Wednesday grand opening event. Bo Steding, one of the company's senior managers, said with investors from far outside East Texas, Drilltools is a manufacturing company that could be just about anywhere.

Instead, the company opted to invest more than $5 million, create 40 jobs during the next couple of years and construct a 50,000-square-foot plant on a 9.25-acre tract in Kilgore's industrial park.

"The friendly pro-business atmosphere of Kilgore is the main reason we are here today," he said during the ceremony. "We could be anywhere in the USA." Steding said local officials helped fast-track plans, inspections, infrastructure and utility installation, and construction.

"Normally, a project of this size would have taken at least a year," he said. "But with the help of the city and (Kilgore Economic Development Corp.), we were able to get it done in six months."

Steding also credited the firm's financing partner, Austin Bank.

He said Drilltools plans to continue giving back to the community that helped it get started.

"I estimate that 95 to 96 percent of everything we've spent on this project — from suppliers to contractors — has been spent locally," he said. "And, we're ready to start hiring more people."

Bobby Beane, president of the KEDC board, said the company combines new and existing technology to manufacture drilling and excavation products primarily for the heavy construction industry.

"This project is a great fit for Kilgore," Beane said. It's an innovative product, and we're thrilled to have them here."

Amanda Nobles, KEDC executive director, said Drilltools is a mid-sized privately held company.

"This represents more diversity for Kilgore," she said. KEDC has awarded the company a grant for $337,500 for the construction, capital investment, new job creation and to help offset the company's purchase of real estate in Synergy Park.

Steding said the company's new building is valued at $1.78 million and should have equipment valued at $2.55 million installed soon. He expects the firm to maintain an inventory with a value of about $950,000.

"When we compare the labor market, the quality of life and the financial and tax incentives, Kilgore wins out," Steding said. He said the fabrication plant will take in plate steel, put it on presses and other equipment.

"Our primary business is producing augers, from small ones to very large ones," he said.

"Our steel presses are unique — they're the only ones like them in the world."

The company manufactures drilling and excavation products primarily for heavy civil construction.


"When we compare the labor market, the quality of life, and the financial and tax incentives, Kilgore wins out," said Bo Steding, a member of the senior management team of Drilltools.

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Sep. 6, 2011 - Mike Elswick
Drilling tool firm invests in Kilgore property. For the story at Kilgore Economic Development Corporation click HERE.

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Sep. 6, 2011 - Kilgore News Herald
Drilling tool firm invests in Kilgore property.


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