A news conference was held Wednesday morning as TPCO America announced details of the biggest phase in construction of their new Gregory plant, as well as a supplier fair to be held later in the night.

The fair, held at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center, will run until 8 p.m., but the big news at the conference was the naming of a contractor to build over a million square feet of the Gregory plant -- Yates Construction, a firm based in Birmingham, Ala. They will be responsible for the biggest manufacturing facility built in this country in recent years.

TPCO America, a China-owned company, has already built a 200,000 square foot finishing facility and are now ready to build the main mill.

"We've got a 1.3-million square foot building to install. We've got a tremendous amount of very heavy equipment to install. That's going to be coming in primarily from China. Then we've got to hook up the piping, electrical and instrumentation and make sure it works," said Tom Vaughn of Yates Construction. "We're going to be looking at, at peak, about 1,000 people on this project. It's going to run a couple of years, so it's going to be a lot of jobs."

The new plant will contain several furnaces to produce all kinds of industrial piping.

TPCO America hopes to start finishing pipe at their existing structure by the end of the year.