Friday, June 3, 2005 | 10:35 a.m.
Titanium Metals Corp. has announced that it will spend $38 million to expand its Henderson manufacturing plant.
The Denver-based company, known as Timet, said the plant expansion will increase its capacity by more than 40 percent.
Plant Manager John Mayes said that the expansion is still in the engineering stages, but the project should be completed in early 2007. It is uncertain how many square feet will be added to the plant, which now has about 450 employees.
"It will require some new employees, but we don't know how many yet," he said. "It's still in very preliminary stages."
The more than 50-year-old plant was last expanded in 1993, Mayes said.
The plant produces titanium sponge, which gets its name from its porous appearance. That elemental form of titanium is then mixed with scrap and alloying elements to create titanium products, particularly for the aerospace industry.
Timet is the only U.S. producer of titanium sponge, and the company said increasing demand has mandated the expansion.
"We have been in close contact with a number of our key, end-user customers, and based upon longer-term demand projections, we are receiving from those customers we believe that current levels of sponge production capacity will be inadequate," Timet Chief Executive J. Landis Martin said in a statement.
While much of the city's economic development effort typically focuses on the attraction of new businesses to the valley, Henderson officials are hailing the expansion of the long-time local business.
"Statistically, more jobs are created from local business expansions than new ones," said Bob Cooper, Henderson's economic development manager. "We are such a fast growing area people drive by the (Lake Mead Parkway) plant and say 'What the heck is that?' It's kind of fun to keep them on the radar. ... This is our history, kind of our founding fathers out in that area."