Cianbro Inc., STARCON International Combine to Form ’Strategic Alliance’

Fri February 12, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams


Peter Vigue, chairman and CEO of Cianbro.
Peter Vigue, chairman and CEO of Cianbro.
Peter Vigue, chairman and CEO of Cianbro. The STARCON team members, as well as the Cianbro team members, are happy with the expanded job opportunities that they will have as a result of the two companies merging. Cianbro crews erect turbine blades on Fox Island’s Wind Project, Vinalhaven Island, Maine. Cianbro crews building modules at company’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility, Brewer, Maine for Motiva Refinery Expansion. Cianbro bridge construction as JV partner with Middlesex Construction, Brightman Street Bridge Replacement Project, Fall River and Somerset, Mass. One of the refineries that STARCON services.

It’s a major development for two companies that have 86 years of construction experience between them.

Cianbro Inc., with expertise ranging from bridge building to steel fabrication to modular construction, and STARCON International, with a respected reputation across the country and Latin America in the oil refinery and chemical plant industries, are joining forces in a strategic alliance that promises to make each of them stronger.

“The strategic alliance is an agreement that both companies have entered into to work together, to pool our strengths. Both companies have unique strengths and we complement one another, because their strengths are not necessarily the same as ours,” said Peter Vigue, president of Cianbro. “Their customer base is different than ours, and, by working together, we can provide more value to a broader base of customers.”

“I think it’s going to bring a great opportunity to both companies to expand our market share and also provide more diverse services to our clients,” said Michael Uremovich, CEO of STARCON. “Cianbro brings a unique set of skills and abilities to the table with their module shop, and their experience in the pulp and paper in the energy industry. STARCON brings our diverse market share across the United States, working with the oil industry and our field experience providing maintenance and capital construction in the refineries. And having Cianbro’s shop to back us up, to provide more diverse services to our clients is going to be a really big help to STARCON.”

Like the fleet of equipment housed at Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility in Brewer, Maine, the deal, according to both sides, has many “moving parts,” but the agreement is expected to mean significantly improved job opportunities for team members and for the Brewer facility.

“We also have a scaffolding and insulation group. Cianbro has an I and E group. We have to go out and subcontract some of these services, because we don’t have those core crafts in our company,” said Dale Kuntz, STARCON’s president. “Likewise, Cianbro may have to go out and subcontract scaffolding or insulation, because that’s not a core craft within their company, so by working together, sharing resources and also expanding into those areas where we are currently not doing business along those core lines, we’re going to open up more opportunities for both of our companies.”

With Cianbro’s impressive equipment inventory, top-notch facilities and expertise in a wide array of construction disciplines, the company now becomes an ally with the team at STARCON to bid jobs which were formerly out of reach. For their part, STARCON allows Cianbro to gain some of the respect in the oil and chemical industries which took the Houston- and Chicago-based company three decades to earn.

“This alliance creates an industry powerhouse which will leverage our ability to capture and execute large scale capital, turnaround and maintenance construction projects for our clients,” said Cianbro Chairman Peter Vigue and STARCON’s Uremovich in a joint statement announcing the move. “The alliance is made possible by the close alignment of our individual companies’ culture, core values and team member focus.”

STARCON primarily offers mechanical and industrial services to petrochemical clients in the Midwest, the Gulf Coast and the West Coast, and has international project and maintenance experience. Cianbro provides an array of heavy construction services to industrial, civil and private clients on the eastern seaboard of the United States.

Both firms have significant experience mobilizing to perform large construction and maintenance projects throughout North America. Cianbro operates that world class module facility in Brewer, Maine, sized to service the global fabrication market. STARCON enjoys a stellar reputation in the refinery and chemical plant industry across the nation and in Latin America.

“The oil industry and oil refineries, particularly, aren’t places you can just walk in and ask to bid work,” said Vigue. “Reputations mean a lot, past performance means a lot, the safety record is very important to them. So, it takes years to knock those barriers down and get opportunities to even bid work. The fact that STARCON is already established with these refineries, gives us a leg up. We can go right in and establish ourselves as a company that can deliver without having to take the years of marketing and building trust and confidence with people.”

“STARCON, at the same time, sees opportunities they can leverage. They just don’t have the resources to do so,” he added. “So, we’re joining. It’s huge.”

Combined, the companies employ nearly 4,000 team members and maintain more than 3,000 pieces of major industrial equipment.

Management from both companies recently completed strategic meetings to develop plans for aligning efforts in business development, project planning and manpower and equipment sharing.

“We know the collective resources are stronger than the individual companies are able to offer,” said Uremovich.

With STARCON’s well-earned reputation in the petrochemical industry, Cianbro is making plans to expand into refinery and chemical plant work. The alliance brings the promise of new job opportunities for team members from both firms.

“Our teams are extremely excited about the opportunities this alliance will create for them and for and our clients,” said Vigue.

“Joined together, our ability to broaden our geographic reach and smooth out our seasonal business demand is very powerful.”

Both company leaders noted that clients should experience no changes in the next few months, but will notice the benefits and opportunities created by the alliance as those attributes develop during the coming year.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people that are really surprised when they see that Cianbro and STARCON have come together,” adds Uremovich. “I think it’s going to shock the industry, in a good way. I think it’s going to make some of our competitors afraid of what we’ve created here. But long term, with the cultures lining up so well, and the opportunities lining up so well, we’re going to end up with one really great organization.”

With an uncompromising commitment to safety, quality, training and innovation, STARCON serves clients in the refining, chemical, food processing, metals, paper and power industries. The company is headquartered in Manhattan, Ill., and has offices in La Porte, Tex., Fairfield, Calif., Gonzales, La., and San Nicolas, Aruba. Visit www.starcom.org for more information.

Cianbro is an employee-owned company and a leading health and safety innovator providing construction and service solutions to clients throughout North America. With the ability to self-perform all aspects of heavy industrial and civil construction projects, Cianbro also provides steel fabrication, modularized construction and construction management services. It is headquartered in Pittsfield, Maine, with major operating facilities in Brewer, Maine, Portland, Maine, and Baltimore, and regional offices in Bloomfield, Conn.

Visit www.cianbro.com for more information.