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A new titanium casting foundry set to open in Newport in the next few weeks could create 100 jobs and make Sturm, Ruger & Co. the third-largest titanium product producer in the country, a company spokesman said last week.

The new facility is under construction in the old 300,000-square-foot Dorr Woolen Mill that was purchased last year by Sturm, Ruger, said Eric Unger, who is the general manager of Pine Tree Castings, a division of the weapons manufacturing company's Ruger Investment Castings.

Sturm, Ruger operates another titanium casting foundry in Arizona, and some of the equipment from that plant is being moved to the New Hampshire plant and is being installed along with new equipment, Unger said.

"That will give us operations in the West and the East," he said, adding that the two facilities will make Sturm, Ruger the third-largest titanium producer in the country behind the two largest aerospace manufacturers.

The mill is being renovated, and the equipment installed, while the company waits for air quality permits. Initially, production will start slowly and will be handled by workers moving over from the old Pine Tree Castings facility, but the new plant has the potential to create 50 to 100 new jobs, Unger said.
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