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New Prineville pipeline manufacturer’s product is a first for the U.S.

(Update: Adding video, comment from company founders)

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- There’s a new business in Prineville -- and it's been in the pipeline, so to speak, for decades.

Krah USA just completed its first job for the Tumalo Irrigation District. They specialize in large-diameter pipes.

But they’re using a new technology to do it, one Mark Theetge has been trying for nearly 20 years to bring to the U.S.

"This is a dream come true for me," Theetge, Krah USA’s president, said Monday.

He's sold large pipes for years -- but now, with technology from the German Krah Group, Krah USA will be the first in the country to make large-diameter, high-density polyethylene piping.

"This material from Europe is something that is higher pressure, and so it could meet the needs of other folks,” Theetge said.

That’s not the only benefit.

"So it's an inert material and actually can be recycled. So for the environment, it's a green product," he added.

The pipes for the Tumalo Irrigation District job were 60 inches in diameter, but soon Krah USA will have the ability to make much larger pipes -- one 196 inches in diameter, which can be used for water and sewer systems.

Both Theetge and CEO Midge Graybeal are from Central Oregon, which played into their decision to bring the business to the City of Prineville Railway.

"We had about 24 parameters, and this Prineville location met like 24 of 25 parameters that we needed," Graybeal said.

In addition to jobs, 10 of which they're looking to add by the end of the year, they want to be active in the community.

"We're not just here for a short period of time," Graybeal said. "We've got a 15-year lease, and an option to buy. We will be in Prineville."

The company is planning a grand opening in April.

Article Topic Follows: Prineville

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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