IPSCO Inc. announced the construction of an oil country tubular goods (OCTG) heat treat facility adjacent to its Blytheville, AR, pipe mill. The new facility will produce heat-treated OCTG in 2-3/8-inch through 5-1/2-inch diameters. Commercial production is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2007. The cost of the heat treat facility is approximately $40 million. The facility will increase the company’s OCTG heat treat capacity by an additional 100,000 tons to 575,000 tons annually. The company also announced that it is proceeding with a $52.5 million expansion of its existing Regina (Saskatchewan) large diameter pipe making facility. This expansion will include an additional pipe forming mill and related finishing equipment. Together with its previously announced capacity increase currently under construction, IPSCO’s large diameter spiral pipe capacity will be increased by two-thirds to 500,000 tons by early 2008.

IPSCO currently has firm commitments for over 300,000 tons of large diameter line pipe, which will require its mills to operate at capacity to April 2008. Beyond that period the company has firm options on over 500,000 tons of large diameter line pipe, which would commit part of presently available capacity into 2010. The company believes that there are opportunities to commit additional capacity if it is available from a proven source within the current peak cycle.

IPSCO further announced record net income in 2006 of $643.1 million, compared to $585.8 million in 2005. IPSCO’s sales increased 24% in 2006 to $3.78 billion compared to $3.03 billion in 2005. Shipment volumes increased 18% to nearly 4.1 million tons while the average selling price per ton increased 6%.

Record energy tubular shipments and strong large diameter pipe shipments totaled 1.1 million tons, an increase of 25% over the prior year. About 1.4 million tons, or 33%, of IPSCO’s total shipments in 2006, were tubular products compared to 1.1 million tons in the prior year. Steel mill product shipments increased 16% to 2.7 million tons.

It was IPSCO’s fifth consecutive year of record sales and production levels. The company operates four steel mills, 11 pipe mills, nine product finishing facilities and nine scrap processing centers in 25 geographic locations across the U.S. and Canada. IPSCO’s pipe mills produce a wide range of seamless and welded energy tubular products.