Lufkin Industries Inc. plans to construct a new manufacturing facility near Ploiesti, Romania, to produce components for its Oilfield and Power Transmission Divisions, with an initial focus on oilfield products. The project is budgeted at $126 million and will employ more than 300 when completed in 2012. The Romanian government has agreed to provide Lufkin with economic development incentives and financial assistance of about $35.4 million towards the construction costs, or approximately 30% of the plant cost. Texas-based Lufkin Industries Inc. is a vertically integrated manufacturer of artificial lift systems for oil and gas applications and power transmission gear systems. The company’s foundry operation produces up to 300 tons per day of large and small castings in gray and ductile iron, for internal and commercial to heavy equipment, valve, and machine tool markets. Lufkin president and CEO Jay Glick called the new operation in Romania “a critical step in our strategy to expand our geographic reach to better serve our global customers.” He said locating the plant in Eastern Europe will allow the company to supply the European market and to target opportunities in Russia, Central Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and East Asia. "Locating this operation in Romania provides us with many advantages,” Glick continued. “Romania is becoming a regional energy hub due to the political stability provided by EU membership and the strategic benefit of its significant oilfield heritage, market and infrastructure. In addition, Romania provides Lufkin access to local sources of raw material and castings, a strategic location for favorable shipping routes and a technically-capable and highly-educated local workforce."