Sales Fill Pipeline at Evets' Hubbard Fab Plant
HUBBARD, Ohio -- The addition of new pipeline and processing systems throughout the Utica shale means sustained business for a Girard-based company and brightens its opportunities for expansion.
“Our plans with this facility are to continue moving it forward,” reports Joe DeLullo, vice president of VEC Inc., Girard. VEC is the parent of Evets Oil & Gas Construction Services, which operates a pipe fabrication plant in Hubbard. “A lot of what is going to be happening in the Utica shale will drive any expansion plans we have.”
The success of oil and gas exploration in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania prompted VEC to purchase the former Powell Industries building at 500 Erie St. about a year and a half ago, DeLullo says.
Since then, the number of employees working at the fabrication shop has grown as high as 35 at times, DeLullo says, but qualifies that. On average between 10 and 12 union tradesmen are regularly working out of the plant. Another 15 in-house support staff such as project managers and estimators who work outside of the building.
Companywide, VEC employs about 115. That number includes two offices on Tibbets-Wick Road in Girard, another on Belmont Avenue, the Hubbard plant, and another fabrication shop the company opened last year in Tuscola, Ill.
The Hubbard shop prefabricates pipe and components for oil and gas projects such as compressors, metering stations and cryogenic plants, says Martin Ankenbruck, shop superintendent. “We just finished a large project for the Kensington plant,” he reports. “The project we’re working on now is going to West Virginia.”
Much of the work at the plant is contracted for jobs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Ankenbruck says.
UEO Buckeye, a joint venture between Access Midstream, M3 Midstream and EV Energy Partners, is constructing a massive cryogenic plant in southern Columbiana County as part of a $900 million investment in its Utica infrastructure.
The first phase of the plant is expected to come online by July, while work simultaneously continues on its second phase, says Tim Callion, business agent for Local 396 of the Plumbers & Pipefitters union.
“We’re just hitting the tip of the iceberg right now,” Callion reports. “Most of our work is in the midstream business and we’re getting ready to start our second large cryogenic plant now.”
That project is Pennant Midstream’s $150 million cryogenic plant in Springfield Township in Mahoning County. (See photo Page 12.) “It’s going to bring most of our workers who are off back out into the workforce. It’s big.”
And, more opportunities for the pipefitters are likely to grow as interest in Utica exploration shifts northward into Mahoning and Trumbull counties, Callion says.
Nevertheless, securing business in the oil and gas industry is no easy task for both labor union and companies such as Evets, Callion notes.
“The oil and gas industry has always been a tight-knit group and this is kind of new to us,” he says. “We’re having the opportunity to prove ourselves and getting our members out in the market.”
Callion speculates that additional oil and gas processors will be coming online over the next several years as exploration steps up in the northern sector of the Utica.
“It’s starting to develop,” he says. Once wells in this part of the play are drilled, and pipelines connected in, the gas will require processing. “It’s going to go to compressor stations, metering stations and eventually some processing plants there, too,” he says.
Butch Taylor, business manager for Local 396, says that Evets and the Pipefitters have established a strong partnership to develop complex modular components for the oil and gas industry that is likely to last.
“They have great ties in with the metering and compressor stations,” he says of Evets. “Now, we’re doing a complete workout with the mods that they’re building and then sent out to job sites.”
Copyright 2013 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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