February 2010 Vol. 65 No. 2


February 2010 Business: Miller Pipeline, Case, Volvo, Hobas and More

Miller Pipeline
Miller Pipeline Corp., one of the nation’s premier natural gas distribution, transmission pipeline and utility contractors and a wholly owned subsidiary of Vectren Corp., acquired Elcon Pipeline Inc. This transaction marks Miller Pipeline’s fifth acquisition within four years and expands the company’s geographic footprint to include 23 states and 19 facilities.

Miller Pipeline acquired Illinois-based Elcon Pipeline Inc. as part of the company’s strategy to grow into new markets and strengthen its position as a leader in the underground construction industry.

Elcon Pipeline Inc., founded in 1978, specializes in underground pipeline construction services and is the current blanket contractor for Ameren.

Case Construction Equipment has completed remanufacturing of its 500th MW24C wheel loader under contract with U.S. Army Tank, Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) and the Army National Guard.

During the past six years, Case has asked to remanufacture 250 wheel loaders for the National Guard and reset another 250 units for TACOM. Remanufacturing includes complete machine disassembly, inspection, refurbishment, reassembly and thorough testing. Reset units receive a full inspection and the repair or replacement of worn parts, resulting in full restoration to Army performance standards. These refurbishing processes can extend the machines’ life spans by as much as 15 years.

Volvo plans to close the manufacturing plant in Asheville, NC, after a decision by Volvo Construction Equipment, Stockholm, Sweden, to consolidate its North American industrial operations by removing excess industrial capacity in the Americas.

The company’s Asheville, NC, manufacturing facility will stop its activities March 31. The closing will affect 228 employees. Volvo CE will incur an estimated restructuring cost of $16 million.

The production from Asheville will be moved to other existing Volvo CE locations while at the same time ensuring uninterrupted supply to North American dealers and customers. The manufacturing of wheel loaders will move to Arvika, Sweden; excavators will be produced in Changwon, South Korea; and cabs for motor graders will be moved to Shippensburg, PA.

Hobas Pipe USA
Hobas Pipe USA gathered its regional and area managers from across the United States at its Houston, TX, manufacturing facility for a three-day sales training seminar and golf outing and to celebrate its 25-year anniversary in the United States.

Hobas is a recognized leader in municipal fiberglass pipe and most U.S. municipalities have installed it in new construction and rehab for critical applications.

Pictured Hobas managers (no order) are: Larry Johnson, vice president, sales; Dan Davis, division manager, East; Bijan Khamanian, division manager, West; Denny Kennard, area manager, South Central; John Mele, area manager, North Atlantic; Cliff Henderson, area manager, Ohio Valley Area; Vince Paparozzi, area manager, North Central; Jim Mahony, area manager, Mid Central; Chuck Mooney, area manager, Oklahoma; Tom Furie, area manager, Southwest; Randy Nelson, area manager, North Texas; Kirk Eager, area manager Houston; Michael Garcia, area manager, North Pacific; Victor Rivera, area manager, Southwest Texas; Joe Schmits, area manager, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia; and Bryant Welch, area manager, East. 800.856.7473, www.hobaspipe.com.

J.F. Kiely Construction
Scott Handel has joined J.F. Kiely Construction Co.’s estimating department. Handel is a New Jersey licensed professional engineer and has many years of experience with underground utilities and final restoration. J.F. Kiely Construction offers utility customers a diversified list of services, including the installation of gas, water, electric and sewer. Its specialties include directional drilling, high-pressure tapping, pipe welding and plastic fusion. 732.222.4400, www.jfkiely.com

Severn Trent Services
The Water Works and Sewer board of the city of Prichard, AL, announced the start of its five-year public-private partnership with Severn Trent Services in December 2009. Under the agreement, Severn Trent is responsible for the complete operation, maintenance and management of the City of Prichard’s water and wastewater facilities, collection and distribution systems, meter reading, billing and customer service functions.

Prior to entering into an initial partnership with Severn Trent in 2007 for operation of the city’s wastewater facility, the board was operating under a strict consent order from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and experiencing significant operational challenges.

The partnership between the board and Severn Trent will continue to benefit the City and its 26,000 residents in a number of ways. Since the inception of this partnership, plant performance has dramatically improved, allowing the Board and its engineer to concentrate on capital improvement planning. The partnership between the board and Severn Trent has already benefited Prichard’s 26,000 residents. Improved operations and performance that include:

  • Reducing solids inventory
  • Improving discharge quality
  • Introducing an asset management program
  • Identifying capital improvement projects
  • Installing a comprehensive computerized maintenance management that schedules predictive and preventive maintenance

281. 578.4200, severntrentservices.com

Aclara, a leader in Intelligent Infrastructure technologies and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc., announces that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will begin citywide installation of the Aclara STAR Network system in early 2010. The SFPUC, with 170,000 retail customer accounts, will be the first major California water utility to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology to track water consumption.

Over 100 cities have deployed the STAR Network system, including New York City, Boston, Kansas City and Washington, D.C., as well as smaller municipals such as Leesburg, VA; Ann Arbor, MI; Beverly Hills, CA and Corpus Christi, TX. The STAR Network system is configurable to meet the requirements of any size city, employing low-frequency radio signals to transmit meter readings on a schedule determined by the utility.

The new system will send hourly consumption data to the SFPUC four times daily. Currently, most residential water meters in San Francisco are read once every two months and commercial meters are read monthly, with meter readers required to individually visit and read each meter manually. This labor intensive and infrequent process makes it difficult to detect silent leaks, which can result in significant water loss and high water/sewer bills for customers.

Data from the STAR Network system will allow SFPUC staff to immediately flag surges in water consumption and detect possible leaks. Eventually, customers will be able to log on to their own accounts with the SFPUC to monitor their own water consumption habits and billing. 800.297.2728, www.aclara.com

A-D Technologies
A-D Technologies announces the sale of its cable laying equipment business marketed under the ARNCO brand name to Plumettaz Inc., a subsidiary of Plumettaz Holding SA, makers of the Plumett brand of cable laying equipment. Concurrent with this sale, the two companies have entered into a distribution agreement where A-D Technologies will continue to offer placing equipment and trailers under the ARNCO name that provided by Plumettaz Inc. In mid 2010, A-D Technologies will also offer the full range of Plumett brand jetting and cable-placing equipment in North America, including new equipment specifically designed for laying power cable.

Plumettaz is partnering with A-D Technologies in support of their newest cable pushing product, the ARNCO MaxxTrak II, and will help expand their presence in North America.

A-D Technologies will market both the ARNCO and Plumett brands through its network of manufacturers’ reps and field technical personnel. The equipment will now be assembled at the Plumettaz facility in Buford, GA.

In other news, A-D Technologies has entered into a joint venture between Dura-Line India Pvt. Ltd., an A-D Technologies company located in India, and Al-Jassar LLC, located in Oman. The new company will be called Dura-Line Middle East LLC and will be located in Oman.

A-D Technologies was created by the merger of Dura-Line and ARNCO, two companies that are well-recognized brand names for high density polyethylene (HDPE) products. The new American-Omani-Indian joint venture will bring the latest innovations in HDPE piping solutions for telecom, fluid, power and gas markets. www.adtechnologies.com

Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (ADS) has agreed to acquire the remaining 50 percent interest in StormTech LLC.

StormTech was created as a 50/50 joint venture between ADS and Infiltrator Systems Inc. to engineer and manufacture chambers for use in underground storm water retention/detention systems. Since inception, StormTech has become the market leader in the retention/detention market.

StormTech chambers are highly engineered to meet the rigorous demands of subsurface storm water management, and provide optimal underground detention for storm water runoff. This product represents one of the most cost-effective subsurface storm water management solutions with thousands of systems already installed.

In adherence with ASTM standards, StormTech chambers are molded from polypropylene resin, which is inherently resistant to chemicals typically found in storm water runoff. 800.733.7473, www.ads-pipe.com

The Pipe Line Development Company (PLIDCO), the world’s leading supplier of products for pipeline repair and maintenance, is celebrating its 60th year in business.

Founded in 1949 by Joseph and Berneice Smith, PLIDCO is a three-generation family owned business that has stayed true to its core values.

“PLIDCO is proud to be celebrating its 60th year in business with the community, our customers and loyal employees,” said Kim Smith, marketing manager, PLIDCO. “Many of our employees have been with us for over 30 years, which reflects our commitment to them. We even have had several scenarios where two generations of family members have been employed at PLIDCO during the same time.”

PLIDCO continues to expand its business in overseas markets and 60 to 70 percent of its business is exports. 800.848.3333, www.plidco.com

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

David Lykken is the new state director of pipeline safety, Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) for Olympia, WA.

Lykken has been with the UTC pipeline safety program for 10 years, most recently as chief engineer. He has been acting pipeline director since Nov. 1, 2009. Prior to joining the UTC, Lykken spent 20 years with Puget Sound Energy’s natural gas utility.

The UTC regulates the safety practices of 28 pipeline companies and more than 23,000 miles of underground petroleum and natural gas pipelines. Lykken will supervise safety inspectors, engineers and policy specialists. 360.664.1160

American Water Works Company
American Water Works Company Inc., the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, has named Kellye L. Walker its senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Walker will be replacing George Patrick, who is retiring after serving the company for more than a decade. Patrick joined American Water in 1999 and led its law department since 2007.

Walker most recently served as senior vice president and general counsel at Diageo North America Inc. Her responsibilities included corporate and commercial legal matters such as mergers and acquisitions, human resources and labor relations, procurement and regulatory compliance.

Walker is a graduate of Emory University School of Law. www.amwater.com

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