Vancouver-based Northwest Pipe Co. announced Tuesday that it has been ordered to shut down operations at its manufacturing facility in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, through April 30 due to a local mandate to temporarily close all nonessential businesses to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Most U.S. states have implemented similar orders, but Northwest Pipe has generally been considered essential because it manufactures pipes for water infrastructure projects. The company’s other nine facilities, all of which are in the United States, remain operational, according to CEO Scott Montross.
The Mexico plant primarily manufactures products that will be shipped back across the border for U.S. projects, so the Mexican government might not have considered it essential to Mexico, Montross said. Northwest Pipe is appealing the decision to state and federal authorities in Mexico, he said, and in the meantime the company will use its other plants to compensate for the disruption.