Cianbro announces another 13-module contract

Posted Jan. 18, 2011, at 10:50 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:17 a.m.

BREWER, Maine — Steel and other materials for a new 13-module contract began to arrive at Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing facility on Monday, Peter Vigue, chairman and CEO of Cianbro Corp., said Tuesday morning.

Vigue and Cianbro Vice President Joe Cote, who is general manager of the South Brewer module manufacturing facility, announced the Pittsfield-based company has secured another module-making contract.

“That work is beginning immediately,” he said.

The first of the 13 refinery modules is expected to be shipped down the river in May, but its destination is not being released, Vigue said.

“We’ve been asked not to identify this client,” he said, adding only that the company is a “major petrochemical company here in North America.”

Cianbro’s Brewer plant completed 51 modules for Motiva Enterprises’ Port Arthur Refinery in Texas, shipping the last one in June, and will make similar petrochemical modules under the new contract, Cote said.

“They are process and pipe rack modules — pipe, electric and steel,” he said. “They are a little smaller in scale compared to the Motiva project, but they are similar.”

The Motiva refinery modules were heavy-duty industrial steel frames filled with pipes, pumps and wiring, and every piece of steel or piping was shaped by Cianbro employees in Maine and put together in Brewer.

With the new refinery module contract, Eastern Manufacturing will be working on two projects, Vigue said. Cianbro won a contract in September to construct 22 electrical building modules for Brazil-based Vale, a mining company that is constructing a nickel-processing plant in Long Harbour, Newfoundland.

Those electrical rooms are under construction and are so big they can be seen from Hampden.

“These are some of the largest-scale electric rooms that have ever been constructed,” Cote said.

Vigue hinted that Cianbro’s acquisition of Illinois-based Starcon International Inc. in November may have had a hand in securing the new module contract. Starcon’s base has been relocated to La Porte, Texas.

“Our access to the petrochemical industry has increased,” he said.

Increased access to the industry and having a reputation of quality work created in an efficient way and on time are the primary reasons Cianbro won the module contract, Vigue said.

“It’s a clear reflection of the competency around the people of this state,” he said.

Cote said he’s very proud of the workers at the Brewer plant and especially of the fact that the company has had 431 days without a work-related injury.

Gov. Paul LePage issued a press release Tuesday afternoon applauding the new contract and Cianbro’s safety record.

“Cianbro’s reputation as a leader in the construction industry is hard earned and continues to pay dividends for our communities and working Maine families,” he stated. “I would also like to compliment Cianbro on completing 2010 with zero lost-time injuries throughout the company. More than 3 million hours of construction-related work conducted without a single lost-time injury is an amazing company-wide accomplishment.”

After making the announcement Tuesday morning, Vigue headed to Augusta for a noon meeting to speak to legislators on the Joint Standing Committee for Labor.

“We are not at the end of the road” is the message he said he intends to send. Maine “challenges and problems equal opportunity” for those willing to change and adapt, Vigue said.

Exactly how many additional workers will be needed to construct the 13 refinery modules was not specified Tuesday, but Cote said a number of current Cianbro employees will be shifted around and others will be hired.

Those interested in working for the employee-owned company can go to the company’s website, Cianbro.com, or call Cianbro recruiting at 1-866-242-6276 to apply.

In addition to filling up Eastern Manufacturing’s parking lot with workers’ vehicles, area businesses also will benefit from those workers buying lunches, gas and other supplies, Cote said.

“It has a huge effect on the local economy,” he said.

With two projects under way at the Brewer plant and another possible contract announcement in February, Vigue said he is thrilled about the company’s future.

“It’s a great day for us,” he said. “It’s an indication that Maine is certainly very capable of competing on a national and international level.”

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