Around the Industry

Nov. 4, 2011
Quanta subsidiary wins bid to work on massive oil pipeline Quanta Services Inc., Houston, said TransCanada Corp. has selected Price Gregory Services Inc.,

Quanta subsidiary wins bid to work on massive oil pipeline

Quanta Services Inc., Houston, said TransCanada Corp. has selected Price Gregory Services Inc., one of its operating units, to be part of a joint venture called MPS Constructors LLC that will build 1,179 miles of pipeline and related infrastructure from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Neb., as part of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline project. Jim O'Neil, president and CEO of Quanta Services, said in a press statement that the pipeline project is expected to directly create thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs in the United States, including at least 2,000 construction jobs for Quanta alone. TransCanada said if construction of the pipeline begins early in 2012, it will be operational in the second half of 2013.

Lowe's to sell Vu1 bulbs

Vu1 Corp., New York, says Lowe's will sell its R30 Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) light bulbs at its 1,725 retail stores beginning in February and on starting Dec. 1. The ESL R30 reflector bulbs are a direct replacement for 65W incandescent flood bulbs and will retail for approximately $14.98 at Lowe's.

Graybar to open new facility

Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis, opened a new branch in Lafayette, Ind., on Nov. 1. The 10,000-square-foot facility, located at 500 Hamman St., will serve 11 counties in west-central Indiana. Branch Manager Wendi Ayers will lead the staff of seven.

Eaton execs ring opening bell at N.Y. Stock Exchange

When CEO Sandy Cutler and his management team at Eaton Corp. rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Oct. 21, it dramatized the company's beginnings 100 years ago on that date. Inventor Viggo Torbensen and entrepreneur Joseph Eaton founded the company that would become Eaton Corp. Combining their ingenuity, Torbensen and Eaton developed an axle that enabled trucks to endure the rugged roads of the early 20th century, consume less fuel and demand less maintenance. Based in Cleveland since 1915, Eaton was first listed on the NYSE in 1923. The company has paid dividends on common shares every year since its initial listing.

Eaton sees hope for U.S. electrical

Eaton Corp., Cleveland, reported third quarter sales of $4.12 billion, 15 percent above the third quarter 2010. In discussing the company's results with analysts, Eaton Chairman and CEO Sandy Cutler pointed to the U.S. electrical segment as a bright spot, with sales up 11 percent, operating profit up 11 percent and record all-time quarterly revenues.

“Let's remember that's at a time when the non-residential market is clearly not back to the heights that we saw during the last peak,” Cutler said. “Bookings [were] up an outstanding 21 percent. Really, really delighted with the strength there. Our backlog up 15 percent to all-time records at this point. And we are convinced the non-residential markets have bottomed and are starting to show a modest growth, particularly in the non-commercial segments. But even in portions of commercial segments, we think there is the beginning of some good news there. Then adjusting for the mark-to-market commodity hedge cost of about $11 million, the operating margins would have been on the order of 15.8 percent. So really, a very strong quarter, we think, setting this business up for both the fourth quarter and for 2012.”

Lighting Science Group chairman a “Champion of Change”

The White House this week recognized Lighting Science Group Chairman and CEO Jim Haworth as a national “Champion of Change” for his efforts to steer the country toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable future. The honor was bestowed as part of President Obama's “Winning the Future” initiative that celebrates ordinary Americans accomplishing extraordinary feats to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world, said a LSG press release. Last week LSG announced that it has received more than $100 million of LED lighting product orders this year — an increase of more than 100% as compared to the same period last year.

Maltby Electric Supply expands in San Rafael

In October Maltby Electric, based in San Francisco, completed an expansion of its San Rafael, Calif., branch. The expansion added about 30 percent to the location's usable space, giving Maltby the capability to increase stock levels on many products and bring greater support to the marketplace. The expansion includes all new offices and a new counter/showroom. To show off the new facilities, the company held a Grand Opening open house for customers and vendors October 26.

Siemens puts new DC in Wichita

Siemens has signed a lease for 74,000 square feet of warehouse space and seven acres of outdoor storage in Wichita, Kan., that will serve as a distribution center for its wind power operations, according to The Wichita Eagle. The new facility will provide storage, procurement, kitting, refurbishment and distribution of tooling that's needed to install wind turbines nationally. The facility also will store, repair and distribute new unit transport framing and hardware that's used to move nacelles, towers and blades around the region. Among its ongoing wind projects, Siemens will provide Duke Energy with 73 turbines for its Ironwood wind project in Spearville, Kan., and 57 turbines for Duke's Cimarron II project in Gray County from the Wichita DC. The new Wichita center is the company's 11th facility related to the wind power business nationally. Siemens also recently opened a nacelle assembly plant in Hutchinson, Kan.

BlueVolt training goes mobile

E-learning specialist BlueVolt, Portland, Ore., announced the release of its HTML5 mobile interface. The new platform allows BlueVolt's elearning users to access interactive courses, quizzes and videos from any mobile device such as the iPad, iPhone and Android browsers — without relying on the use of Adobe Flash software. In addition to supporting interactive content the new mobile interface features simple-to-navigate, enhanced functionality for mobile learners. The new mobile interface also makes uploading video easier. BlueVolt's LMS administrators can upload virtually any video format, which is automatically transcoded (using cloud-based technology) into multiple formats and viewable from any modern web browser or mobile device.