Originally called Northwest Pipe & Casing, the company started operations in 1967 with just three steel pipe mills and 20 employees in Clackamas, Oregon. Focused initially on agriculture and the booming wood products market, the firm grew to become a major West Coast producer of steel pipe for the water market.
After difficult operating conditions and limited success, long time steel industry veteran, William R Tagmyer was recruited to turn things around for the company. His initial move was to embark on a limited growth strategy that included; the purchase of a pipe division from L.B Foster in Portland, OR and establishing a new Greenfield tubular plant in Kansas that focused on agricultural and sprinkler pipe.
By 1987 a group of investors purchased the majority of Northwest Pipe’s stock and provided the necessary capital for further expansion. When its new southern California production facility opened three years later, the company had a multi-million dollar backlog of orders and a sizable share of the rapidly developing southern California market.
In 1995 the company made a public offering of stock to the investment community. Armed with this new capital Northwest Pipe acquired several companies including; Thompson Pipe and Steel Company in Denver, CO, United Concrete Pipe’s facility in Riverside, CA, Southwestern Pipe of Houston, TX and P&H tube of Bossier City, LA, North American Pipe in Saginaw, TX and an LB Foster facility in Parkersburg, WV.
Additionally, the company started construction on a propane tank facility in Monterrey, Mx and installed an API tube mill at its Portland, OR plant site.
By the end of the decade Northwest Pipe had become the only coast to coast producer of spirally welded steel pipe for the water industry, established an international location and expanded its product offerings.
The economic conditions of the early 2000’s significantly impacted the tubular products segment and resulted in the closure of its Portland, OR tubular operation. In 2005, the company consolidated the Riverside, CA facility with the Adelanto CA facility and shut down tubular operations in Houston, TX and Bossier City, LA.
By 2006 the company diversified its product offering at Atchison, KS facility by manufacturing line pipe and purchased the spiral weld pipe plant in Pleasant Grove, UT owned by Continental Pipe.
In 2008 the company moved its corporate headquarters from Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA and in 2009 re-opened the Bossier City facility to further enhance its energy pipe offerings with Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) and started production of tubing for the oil and gas market at its Houston, TX ERW facility.
From 2010 through 2013 the company continued efforts to enhance and optimize its performance. In 2012 the Pleasant Grove facility was closed down after manufacturing was completed of the single largest project for the company up to that point, the Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project, with more than 21 miles of 126-inch diameter steel pipe. In 2013 the Saginaw, TX plant was upgraded with a new spiral mill capable of making 1.00” wall thickness and 126” OD. This prepared the company to supply pipe for the 148-mile, 108-inch diameter Integrated Pipeline (IPL) project.
In 2014, Northwest Pipe Company sold its OCTG assets in Bossier City, LA and Houston, TX and began to both strengthen and diversify its core business, water transmission, by acquiring Permalok®. This acquisition gave the company access to the trenchless technology market as well as the market for steel casing pipe, the former a rapidly growing series of construction methods in the water industry, and the latter, a supplement on all water projects whenever carrier pipelines traverse roadways, railroads and other man-made obstacles. Permalok® is a proprietary interlocking push joint system used in jacking applications such as microtunneling, auger boring, pipe ramming, Direct Pipe® and others. It eliminates the field butt-welding of traditional plain-ended steel casing pipe, resulting in expeditious completion of projects and substantial savings for Owners and Contractors.