Brilex Partners with Valerus to Make Equipment
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – An executive with Houston-based Valerus, a global provider of oil and gas handling and processing equipment, calls its new partnership with Brilex Industries here as a “win-win” for its customers and the Mahoning Valley as well as both companies.
Valerus, which has 1,300 employees, announced Wednesday it has formed the partnership with Brilex to manufacture oil and gas production equipment to build surface facilities for customers in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. Brilex plans to add 30 jobs at its Andrews Avenue plant to accommodate the additional business. Brilex has more than 250 employees.
“We really think of that as the initial wave of employment but as the shale plays grow, we hope to grow our manufacturing presence and be able to hire more people,” said Jed Morrison, vice president of production equipment for Valerus. “We think of this as a real win-win not just for Brilex and Valerus but the community and our customers."
Brilex will manufacture production equipment including separators and coalescing filters, which are installed at the wellhead to prepare hydrocarbons to be transported further downstream.
Valerus’ presence in the regional shale play started in 2009, and the company opened a maintenance center in Smithfield, Pa., in 2011. “Now the next step in our evolution is manufacturing equipment here,” Morrison said. “We’ve been considering this move for a long time just due mainly to the rapid increase in production” in both the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, he said.
“Youngstown has a really large base of manufacturing capability and experience and facilities in place so it’s kind of a perfect place to place a facility,” he added.
The joint venture developed from a December 2010 trip to Houston by representatives of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, where they met with companies “in an attempt to encourage them to invest in the Mahoning Valley,” said Sarah Boyarko, vice president of economic development, business retention and expansion.
The chamber hosted Valerus officials on various community and property tours, Boyarko recalled, as they considered sites for new construction, use and renovation of existing structures and other options. During one of those visits, she introduced them to Brilex officials “and they were able to generate a conversation from that point,” she said.
Following an “in-depth analysis” of its options, Valerus decided it had found “a great partner” with Brilex, citing in particular its focus on quality and efficiency, Morrison said. “They really pride themselves on delivery and reliability.”
“Valerus recognized we have the core fabrication capabilities to manufacture this equipment. Rather than attempt to duplicate that themselves, they chose to partner with us,” said Brian Benyo, president of Brilex.
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s going to bring further growth related to the oil and gas boom to the Mahoning Valley with local manufacturing. It’s a benefit to the community as a whole,” he added.
“We view this as an excellent example of the business-to-business relationships that the chamber strives to create in our community,” Boyarko said.
Brilex will primarily use unoccupied space at the Andrews Avenue plant, Benyo said. A few trial orders are under way; full production will begin in the first quarter of 2013, he reported.
Among the benefits to Valerus’ customers is the production center’s proximity to customers in the field, who will benefit from lower transportation costs and access to the equipment for inspection during the manufacturing process, Morrison said. He noted that Valerus’ customers say it is important for them to buy products in the region where they are operating.
Copyright 2012 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
Copyright 2013 Youngstown Publishing Co. DBA The Business Journal
Developed by Tyler Clark Consulting.