Norfolk Officials Wondering About OCT Project

NORFOLK – Almost two years ago, Texas based manufacturer OCT Pipe announced a multi-million dollar plant to be constructed in Norfolk that would bring hundreds of jobs.

Now, two years later, city officials want to know why they haven’t seen any construction progress.

In a joint statement released Tuesday, Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning and current Norfolk Area Chamber Board Chair Don Wisnieski said that the city s putting out a public call for OCT to update them on their timeline for the project.

The city spent millions of dollars in infrastructural upgrades to bring OCT to town, helping finance a natural gas pipeline.

Company CEO Buddy Brewer told News Channel Nebraska in January that OCT would begin construction over the summer, but that didn’t happen.

In the statement, officials encouraged company chairman Charley Havens to communicate with the city their intentions for the land northeast of town.

News Channel Nebraska is reaching out to both Mayor Moenning and officials with OCT, and hope to have an update soon.

Full statement:

“The status of the proposed OCT facility has generated much natural community interest in recent months. During that time, the City of Norfolk has been assured that the property owner is working to secure financing for the project.

“As we’ve remained hopeful that the project materializes, we’ve also sought clarity from the property owner on expectations and project timelines. Our city’s investment related to this project focused on much-needed infrastructure, helping finance a natural gas pipeline that is now in place and ready to more than double our existing capacity. For years, inadequate access to natural gas hampered area economic development efforts. Now, whether it’s OCT, another new industry, or an existing user seeking to expand, we have the natural gas needed to facilitate development and grow good-paying jobs. Knowing more of OCT’s status and timeline is necessary for us to know how best to help prepare for new growth, both in areas of industrial site development and infrastructure systems planning. We encourage forthright and open communications from Mr. Havens and the OCT team in coming weeks regarding status and intentions for this project.”