International Investment for Weirton
In 2017, Bidell Gas Compression, a subsidiary of Total Energy Services Inc. based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, expanded to a decommissioned machine shop that belonged to the former Weirton Steel. Bidell fabricates, leases, and services natural gas compression equipment. They serve customers throughout North America and internationally. The Weirton facility serves as the company’s U.S. headquarters.
September 22, 2017
Bidell ready to begin operations in Weirton
WEIRTON — A more than $3 million investment into the area was unveiled Thursday, when Bidell Gas Compression hosted an open house to showcase the renovations undertaken at its new home in the north end of Weirton.
The 100,000-square-foot building at 1400 Main St., formerly used as a machine shop by ArcelorMittal Steel and its predecessors, is set to begin production of the company’s gas compressor systems in the coming weeks; six months after Bidell announced plans to come to the city.
“We’re ready to do business in Weirton, West Virginia,” Dan Martin, vice president of manufacturing for Bidell’s U.S. division, said Thursday.
Martin also announced the company had secured its first orders — three compressor systems for MarkWest Energy Partners, estimated at $1 million each.
Bidell took possession of the property Feb. 14, announcing its plans March 10, and has spent the months since working to renovate the building, including the purchase of new cranes and other equipment, constructing work spaces for a variety of jobs, as well as creating office space.
The building had been non-operational for between eight and 10 years, according to Martin, but the task was accomplished with support and assistance from many in Weirton and surrounding communities, as well as state officials.
“A vision, a community and a great state helped get everything turned around,” Martin said.
Carol Lotzgeselle, controller for the Weirton facility, explained more than $3 million has been spent, to date, in refurbishing the property, with the majority of it spent in the Tri-State Area. Of that, $800,000 was spent in the Northern Panhandle, she said.
“That didn’t happen by accident,” she said, explaining the importance for the company to invest locally in their operations.
Of the 34 current employees, Lotzgeselle said 15 live in Weirton, with seven from other surrounding West Virginia communities, eight from Ohio and three from Pennsylvania.
The hope, she said, is to add another 100 positions by the end of 2018.
David Raveau, a Weirton resident who is the chief inspector for quality and control, as well as the head of their training program, noted Bidell knew there would be a lack of training in the local workforce, and has been committed to making certain new employees have the proper knowledge for their new jobs.
Training for non-employees also will be available beginning next week, Raveau said, to ensure additional residents will be ready when jobs become available.
Plans also are being developed to create apprenticeship programs, and instructional materials are being provided to local community colleges and technical schools.
Martin explained, until now, many of the gas compressor systems used in the natural gas industry have come from companies in Texas and Oklahoma. He said that will stop with Bidell opening up operations.
“We’re going to build them right here in Weirton,” Martin said.
Bidell Gas Compression is a subsidiary of Total Energy Services, Inc., a company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Weirton facility will serve as the company’s U.S. headquarters.
March 10, 2017
Bidell Gas Compression Bringing New Jobs to Weirton
WEIRTON — Gov. Jim Justice this morning announced that Bidell Gas Compression, a subsidiary of the Canadian company Total Energy Services Inc., will base its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Weirton.
The company will repurpose a 100,000 square-foot, decommissioned machine shop to fabricate, sell, lease and service natural gas compression equipment to customers operating throughout North America and internationally.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Justice said, “This investment will spur economic development and diversity in the Northern Panhandle. The project will return an existing building to active use and allow production to get off to a quick start. The operation will employ around 60 people in highly skilled manufacturing jobs this year and up to 130 by 2019.”
Bidell President Sean Ulmer said many groups worked to bring the deal together.
“This location in the city of Weirton provided us with the physical building and land we required, as well as a talented and available workforce,” he said. “The support we received from the (state) Commerce Department, the Hancock County commissioner’s office and Weirton officials was instrumental in making our final decision. Without their dedication, patience and creative ideas throughout this process, we would not have been able to make this happen.
“We look forward to providing our customers in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays with locally built, high quality and cost effective gas compressor packages.”
West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said building partnerships is key to revitalizing the state’s economy.
“We thank Bidell for this multimillion dollar investment and the creation of dozens of new jobs. We are honored by the company’s confidence in West Virginia’s outstanding business climate, world class workforce and access to global markets,” he said.
Total Energy Services Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta, is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Through various operating divisions and wholly-owned subsidiaries, Total Energy Services is involved in contract drilling services (Chinook Drilling), rentals and transportation services (Total Oilfield Rentals); and the fabrication, sale, rental and servicing of new and used equipment for both oil and gas processing (Spectrum Process Systems) and gas compression (Bidell Gas Compression).
The West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Economic Development Authority worked with the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle to purchase the property from Mingo Junction Steelworks, a division of Frontier Group of Companies, to make a new home for Bidell.
“Words cannot express the excitement and anticipation I have regarding the announcement that Bidell is locating in Hancock County,” said Hancock County Commission President Jeff Davis. “This has truly been a team effort by all of the parties involved, from the governor’s office to the local level. The location of Bidell in Hancock County will produce a huge economic boost, not only in the number of quality jobs being made available, but also to the local businesses and their ability to provide various support services. It is a privilege to welcome a company of the caliber of Bidell to Weirton.”
“Having an available building was a major asset in attracting Bidell,” added Patrick Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corp. “Real estate and building inventory is critical. We have Frontier and ArcelorMittal to thank for making it possible to respond quickly to Bidell’s interest in wanting to open up a new manufacturing company in the northeast United States.”