July 2010 Business News

Business updates from Ritchie Bros., John Deere, Miller Pipeline, CONTECH, WilsonMiller, Sukut Construction, AEM, Dexter + Chaney, Spectrum Construction Software, GEI Consultants and Cardno TBE, plus web exclusives from Ledcor, EPRI, PPI Solutions and Millennium Pipeline.

Ritchie Bros.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, celebrated the grand opening of its new St. Louis permanent auction site, located in the village of Caseyville, IL, with an unreserved public auction on June 29. Company officials and Caseyville Mayor George Chance participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially mark the opening of the new St. Louis auction site, which will be the company’s 42nd auction site globally.

The new 67-acre auction site, with 40 acres currently developed, is located along I-64. It has a 13,550-square-foot auction building with indoor seating for more than 300 people. 800.211.3983, www.rbauction.com

John Deere
Deere & Co. reported second-quarter net income or $547.5 million, compared with $472.3 million for the same period last year.

Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 6 percent, to $7.131 billion, for the second quarter. Net sales of the equipment operations were $6.548 billion for the quarter, compared with $6.187 billion for last year’s second quarter.

While sales of large farm machinery, particularly in the United States and Canada, are making a significant impact on the company’s performance, construction and forestry shipments are rebounding from historic lows, according to Samuel Allen, chairman and CEO.

Deere’s equipment operations reported operating profit of $988 million for the quarter and $1.303 billion for six months, compared with $628 million and $935 million last year.

Net income of the company’s equipment operations was $454 million for the quarter and $623 million for six months, compared with $406 million and $560 million for the respective periods last year.

Company equipment sales are projected to be up 11 to 13 percent for fiscal 2010 and up 21 to 23 percent for the third quarter compared with the same periods a year ago. Included is a favorable currency-translation impact of about 3 percent for the year and about 2 percent for the quarter. For the full year, net income for Deere is anticipated to be about $1.6 billion.

Construction and forestry sales were up 52 percent for the quarter and 15 percent for six months mainly due to higher shipment volumes, favorable currency-translation effects and improved price realization. The division had operating profit of $36 million for the quarter and an operating loss of $1 million for six months, compared with last year’s operating losses of $75 million in the quarter and $58 million for six months. The improvement in both periods primarily was due to higher shipment and production volumes and improved price realization, partially offset by higher postretirement benefit costs.

Deere’s worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to increase by about 30 percent for full-year 2010. Sales are benefiting from low inventories, associated with last year’s aggressive production cutbacks, and more-steady market conditions. Though remaining depressed as a result of declining non-residential construction and relatively high used-equipment levels, U.S. construction-equipment markets are showing signs of stabilization. www.deere.com

Miller Pipeline Corp.
Miller Pipeline Corp. has promoted Dave Tucker to vice president of Indiana and Kentucky Gas Construction. In this new position, Tucker will be responsible for the direction of the company’s operations in Missouri, Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky.

Tucker has more than 25-years experience in the gas industry. He joined Miller Pipeline Corp. in 1985 and became involved with management at the company when he was promoted to superintendent in 1999, followed by area manager in 2002.

CONTECH Construction Products
CONTECH Construction Products Inc. has announced the acquisition of Plastream Pipe Technologies Pty. Ltd., an Australian company based in Adelaide, Australia. Plastream is the exclusive, worldwide licensee of Plastream technology for the production of proprietary steel reinforced high density polyethylene pipe. This technology is currently used and marketed by CONTECH in the U.S. and Canada under the DuroMaxx brand. 800.338.1122, www.contech-cpi.com

WilsonMiller was recently awarded three continuing service contracts with public agencies in and around the Tampa Bay area. These include contracts with Hillsborough County, the School District of Hillsborough County and Citrus County.

The continuing contract with Hillsborough County is for miscellaneous surveying and mapping services for a two-year term. WilsonMiller has served the county on similar contracts over the past 10 years.

The continuing contract with the School District of Hillsborough County is to assist with miscellaneous planning services for a term of three years. WilsonMiller previously held this contract from 2006 to present; and builds upon a long established and successful prior relationship.

The continuing contract awarded to WilsonMiller from Citrus County is for civil, structural, water/wastewater, environmental, transportation and traffic engineering, landscape architecture, planning and urban design. WilsonMiller has previously worked with the county on individual projects, and this contract expands the scope of services we are able to offer for a term of five years. 239.649.4040, www.wilsonmiller.com

Sukut Construction
In March, Sukut Construction Inc.’s new website attracted nearly 2,000 new visitors, quickly proving itself to be a powerful marketing tool for the company’s strategic expansion into large-scale public works.

Data from the website’s inaugural month of operation identified visitors from 54 countries and 772 cities and mining towns. More than 700 visitors specifically clicked on pages related to Sukut’s growing portfolio of federal projects.

The new website, www.sukut.com, launched on Feb. 7. It was designed to highlight Sukut’s reputation as one of the nation’s premier heavy civil engineering contractors. The website’s home page provides an easily searchable, left-column list of Sukut’s areas of expertise, including dams, levees and reservoirs; emergency disaster response; environmental land remediation; and flood and storm water control.

The home page also reflects Sukut’s geographical expansion into Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. The company’s new tagline “Building the West from the Ground Down” is bannered across the top of the page. The company’s licenses in California, Nevada and Arizona, as well as its federal mining license, are provided for easy reference in the bottom right corner.

Sukut Construction is California’s largest mass excavation and grading contractor and has moved over a billion cubic yards of earth. It is ranked within the top 500 largest contractors in the nation. Its projects range from highway construction to residential grading to wastewater management systems. 888.785.8801, www.sukut.com

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is offering an updated Hydraulic Excavator Safety Manual with new and expanded material that reflects current industry practices. AEM safety manuals illustrate typical worksite and equipment hazards as well as safe practices in equipment preparation, operation, maintenance and transport. They are ideal for group safety sessions on the job or in the classroom as well as individual usage.

The AEM hydraulic safety manual has expanded from 48 to 60 pages, and the enhancements include a new section on trenching safety. Expanded or additional material includes safe mounting and dismounting; utility locating practices; attachment installation; installation, use and maintenance of quick-couplers; and use of newer safety design features such as gate or armrest-based hydraulic control locks.

AEM’s safety and training materials cover more than 40 types of equipment used in agricultural, construction, forestry and utility applications. The association initiated its safety-tools program more than 40 years ago to provide job-proven and time-tested suggestions that promote safety-conscious attitudes and performance. In addition to accident prevention, benefits include improved worker productivity and less equipment downtime for repairs. 414.272.0943, www.aem.org

Dexter + Chaney, Spectrum Construction Software
Dexter + Chaney has launched a new web site – www.dexterchaney.com – that offers easy access to the information about Spectrum Construction Software’s capabilities that applies to the individual user’s specific interests. The contractor can quickly pinpoint the relevant information that addresses both the operations and financial needs of their company, within a single construction ERP (enterprise resource planning) software package.

Dexter + Chaney has tailored the web site to the primary industries that Spectrum serves: electrical, heavy/highway/utility, general construction and mechanical/HVACR contracting. Within those, the web site categorizes the information by specific areas of a contractor’s business. Those include operational functions like equipment management, service and project management, as well as financial areas and business intelligence.

The home page features in-the-field images depicting electrical, heavy/highway/utility, general construction and mechanical/HVACR contracting. Simply click on an image to see how Spectrum helps construction companies in that industry, and it provides links to products and services designed for them.

The tailored sections of the site also include quotes from Dexter + Chaney clients about the benefits of using Spectrum in their industries and a description of Spectrum’s technology. www.dexterchaney.com

GEI Consultants
GEI Consultants Inc., a leading geotechnical, water resources, environmental and ecological science and engineering firms, announced that it has hired six senior professionals within the firm’s Pacific region to provide enhanced service and technical expertise to its clients.

They include: Timothy B. Anenson, vice president-regional manager; Mark Freitas, P.E., G.E. and Leonard J. Sansone, P.E., G.E. as principal geotechnical engineers; and Joseph F. Long, P.E., Ronald F. Muller, P.E., and Jeffrey Twitchell, P.E. as senior consultants. 888.GEI-WORX, www.geiconsultants.com

Cardno TBE
Nicolas Zembillas, senior vice president for Cardno TBE based in Clearwater, FL, was named by Civil Engineering News magazine as one of the 15 most influential people in the civil engineering industry today.

According to the article, called the “Power List”, Zembillas who is in charge of international subsurface utility engineering for Cardno TBE, was recognized for being instrumental in introducing subsurface utility engineering (SUE) to federal and state transportation agencies throughout the United States, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and Australia. SUE is a relatively new process that incorporates civil engineering, surface geophysics, surveying and mapping, non-destructive excavation, and asset management technologies to locate identify, and classify underground utilities. SUE has proven to help manage risks, avoid costly conflicts and reduce project delays.

Zembillas is an original member of the American Society of Civil Engineers Standards Committee for Collection and Depiction Guidelines for Existing Utility Data (ASCE 38-02) on Design and Construction Documents. He participated on the International Right-of-Way and Utilities Scan Delegation and the United Kingdom’s research study called Mapping the Underworld.

Zembillas also was recently re-elected to the board of directors of the Buried Asset Management Institute – International (BAMI-I). The Buried Asset Management Institute – International (BAMI-I) is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to provide a center of excellence for owners of underground water infrastructure to join with industry and researchers, using sound science, to evaluate and /or develop buried asset management protocols for application worldwide to benefit ratepayers and other stakeholders. It does this by protecting public health, maximizing asset life-cycle value, improving the environment, sustaining economic development, and enhancing the quality of life. 800-861-8314, www.CardnoTBE.com

Brian Edwards has been appointed vice president of Health, Safety and Environment for Ledcor Contractors. In his new role, Edwards will serve as a partner to each business unit lead, working closely with each lead member and their respective teams. In addition, he will act as a liaison between Ledcor Contractors Ltd. and Ledcor Industries Inc. collaborating with Dwight Brissette in an effort to strengthen and realize the goal for corporate uniformity. He will be responsible for all Ledcor’s operations in Canada and the United States.
Edwards brings 30 years experience from his previous positions at Imperial Oil Resources. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Queen’s University, and an MBA from The University of Western Ontario. 780.462.4211, www.ledcor.com

The board of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has elected EPRI Senior Vice President Michael Howard as its next president and CEO, effective in September at the retirement of current President and CEO Steve Specker.

Howard has more than 30 years of leadership experience in organizations ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to large public companies and has developed a track record for locating, hiring and mentoring top-tier scientific and technical talent. He is widely respected for facilitating collaborative relationships among utilities and suppliers in the United States and abroad.

In his current position as senior vice president of Research and Development, Howard oversees annual research spending in excess of $350 million and is responsible for overseeing EPRI’s entire research portfolio including renewable, fossil, and nuclear generation; transmission and distribution; energy efficiency; electric transportation; and the environment.

Previously he served as president and CEO of EPRI Solutions Inc., formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of EPRI. Before joining EPRI, he was president of Beta Development Corp., a venture capital firm providing equity investments in technology-based companies; later he became president of the Tennessee Center for Research and Development in Knoxville, TN.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Science in business and engineering management from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in engineering science from the University of Tennessee. He has completed the MIT Nuclear Reactor Technology program.

PPI Solutions
PII Pipeline Solutions, a GE Oil & Gas and Al Shaheen joint venture, has opened a new state-of-the-art services facility in Calgary. The facility will support North America’s oil and gas infrastructure with advanced pipeline inspection technology and services, and will become a global centre of excellence for pipeline crack analysis, serving Canadian, U.S. and European pipeline operators.

The new facility consolidates several existing PII Pipeline Solutions operations in Calgary into one center and will host part of GE’s fleet of advanced magnetic, geometry and ultrasonic pipeline inspection tools for deployment throughout Canada to help operators monitor the condition of their oil and gas gathering and transmission systems.
The 50,000-square-foot services facility will house 100 employees and is certified to ISO9001: 2008 and EN13908 (ATEX) requirements. www.ge.com

Millennium Pipeline Co.
Millennium Pipeline Company has named Joseph P. Shields as president, effective June 1. He replaces Richard H. Leehr, who has served as company president since 2005.

Shields brings over 25 years experience in the natural gas industry to the position. His served as executive vice president and COO of New Jersey Resources in his previous position. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stockton State College and has recently completed a course in decision making at Harvard Business School. Shields also serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Business at Montclair University.

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