Dear PEI Member:
completed PEI Service and Construction Managers Conference provided a unique
opportunity for us to talk to scores of PEI members about their service and
construction operations. After melding in conversations we had with
installation and service firms at the M-PACT Show last week in Indianapolis,
we offer some broad takeaways for you.
Customers have money. New construction and
facility upgrades are strong entering the building season. Retail stations
(all size owners), automobile dealerships, data centers, hospitals and
farmers are spending money. They demand the jobs be done right and on time
so there is little margin for error, but profits are there for those who
know what they are doing.
Only a relatively few installation contractors have
decided to participate in the compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fueling
market. Construction companies in most states tell us low gasoline and
diesel prices have put a damper on fleets converting to CNG for the time
being. With installation of other equipment as robust as it is, most PEI
contractors have not acted to add CNG equipment installation to their areas
of expertise. Having said that, contractors in Texas note that the number of
natural gas fueling stations rose 25 percent—to 130—during the last six
months. With 42 additional stations scheduled to open in the next 12 to 18
months, a steady build-out of natural gas infrastructure in Texas is
underway. The same can be said for Oklahoma.
Lack of trained service technicians and construction
foremen is holding companies back. Shortages of trained workers are
causing service and construction firms to be more selective in the jobs they
take. Some are turning down—or politely avoiding—lower-margin work for jobs
that add more to the bottom line. Competent workers don’t grow on trees, and
training new employees is difficult, time consuming and expensive.
Oil Company Acquisitions
UST Cases Settled
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The conversion to EMV will likely be a mess.
Retailers are still confused about the deadlines and their potential
liability. Equipment sold and installed today will require a “second touch”
once the credit card processors finalize their specifications for the
software upgrades. Service companies—remembering the precipitous drop-off in
business after the underground storage tank and PCI compliance deadlines—are
understandably reluctant to ramp up hiring and training now to satisfy a
market that is still undetermined and is likely to be short-lived after the
2017 deadline. All this adds up to a bottleneck two years from now.
The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has chosen Rob
Underwood to serve as the next president of PMAA, effective May 16, 2015.
Underwood has been with PMAA since 2007 as its director of government
relations. Current PMAA president Dan Gilligan will be retiring later this
RDM Industrial Electronics, Inc., with offices in Nebo, North
Carolina, and Lakewood, Colorado, will open a new branch location in
Sanford, Florida, on May 1, 2015.
Hose Master, Cleveland, Ohio, is now represented by Rocky Mountain
Rep Agency in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.
Fifty comments were offered to improve PEI’s Recommended Practices
for the Storage and Dispensing of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
(PEI/RP1100-10). PEI’s DEF Committee is expected to meet this summer to
consider and act on the comments.
OIL COMPANY ACQUISITIONS
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has acquired 21 convenience stores, 151
dealer fuel supply agreements and five development properties from Cinco J
(d/b/a Johnson Oil Company), Tiger Tote Food Stores and their affiliates.
The stores and development properties are located in Texas and the dealer
fuel supply agreements are for properties based in Texas, Mississippi and
Best Oil Company has sold its 19 stores in Minnesota to
TravelCenters of America LLC. Best Oil also sold its wholesale fuel
supply business and transportation division to NuWay Cooperative.
UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK CASES SETTLED
BP Products North America Inc. will pay $7.9 million to settle
allegations it improperly reported sources of certain payments for cleaning
up leaking underground storage tank (UST) sites when seeking reimbursement
from California’s cleanup fund, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
said. As part of the settlement agreement, 90 of BP North America’s UST
cleanup sites are permanently disqualified for any reimbursement from the
state’s Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund. In addition, BP’s
reimbursement for another 153 cleanup sites will be offset by $25,400 each,
reducing its future claims by almost $3.9 million, the state said. The sites
involve cleanups at ARCO gas stations throughout the state.
Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp. will spend $1.6 million in
compliance measures to improve leak detection and pay a $426,000 civil
penalty to settle Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations
in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under a proposed consent decree
announced March 9, the company will implement fully automated electronic
release detection monitoring systems at 137 of its facilities with USTs in
active operation and will operate the systems for at least three years.
Additionally, Total agreed to begin a supplemental environmental project
consisting of a centralized monitoring system estimated to cost $600,000.
That system will connect 125 facilities with electronic release detection
monitoring systems to a central location, and the company will provide
quarterly reports to the EPA on its operation and use. At issue in the case
were violations of Section 1 of RCRA at 35 Total-owned gas stations—31 in
Puerto Rico and four in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fluid management system manufacturer. ASI Fuel and Fluid Management, 565
Arvin Avenue, Stoney Creek, Ontario L8E 5N7, Canada, has applied for
manufacturer division membership. Aaron Berlingieri is sales manager for the
firm, which was established in 1986. The company manufactures systems that
control and monitor fuels and fluids, which are sold through distributors.
Sponsored for PEI membership by Chris Vassos, WalecoInc, Mississauga,
California equipment export firm. El Chintolo USA Inc., 53 West
Blackhills Road, Heber, California 92249, has applied for affiliate division
membership. Raul Humberto Cordova Gonzalez is president of the firm, which
was established in 2014. The company sells station supplies and exports to
Mexico. Sponsored for PEI membership by Frank Viniegra, Global, Cambridge,
Canopy manufacturer. Bestworth-Rommel, Inc., 19818 – 74th
Avenue NE, Arlington, Washington 98223, has applied for affiliate division
membership. Charles LaNasa is general manager of the firm, which was
established in 1983. Bestworth-Rommel designs, manufactures and installs
service station canopies. Sponsored for PEI membership by Dave Cousminer,
Alpolic, Chesapeake, VA.
Mexico equipment provider. Operadora Comercial Fares S.A. de C.V.,
Rio Nilo #2888, Col. Jardines de la Paz, Guadalajara, Jal. 44860, Mexico,
has applied for affiliate division membership. Josue Perez Marquez is CFO of
the firm, which was established in 2013. The company provides equipment,
supplies and accessories for the handling, storage and control of fuel
electrical equipment. The firm also provides consulting services. Sponsored
for PEI membership by Mike Donley, Tuthill, Fort Wayne, IN.
California mechanical contractor. Pan-Pacific Mechanical, 18250
Euclid Street, Fountain Valley, California 92708, has applied for service
and construction division membership. Mike Hoxworth is a fuel oil specialist
for the firm, which was established in 1947. The company is a full-service
mechanical contractor that designs and installs equipment for fuel oil.
Sponsored for PEI membership by Don Petroni, PtrMktgEqp, Placentia, CA.
Connecticut construction firm. Liberty Auto & Electric, Inc., 38
Gurdon Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06606, has applied for service and
construction division membership. Brian Hulse is vice president of the firm,
which was established in 1919. The company builds and services gasoline
stations and convenience stores. Sponsored for PEI membership by John Nolan,
JWKennedy, East Providence, RI.
Georgia equipment installation and service firm. Center for Testing &
Engineering, 25 Franklin Road, Newnan, Georgia 30263, has applied for
service and construction division membership in PEI. Asad Altabchi is
general manager of the firm, which was established in 2007. The company
installs, services and tests petroleum equipment. Sponsored for PEI
membership by Glen Corkill, SourceIL, Addison, IL.
Pennsylvania installation and service contractor. Steel City Fueling
Systems, Inc., 2750 Banksville Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15216, has
applied for service and construction division membership. William R.
Brandenstein is president of the company, which was established in 2006. The
firm is a full-service storage tank installation and service contractor
working primarily in Pennsylvania. Sponsored for PEI membership by Richard
J. McLaughlin, ReitzPA, Brookville, PA.
ADMITTED TO PEI
JR Integral S.R.L., Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic (dis)
C.A. Norris LLC, Attica,
Care’s Quality Service,
LLC, Bernville, PA (S&C)
Tora Batiste, Sunoco,
Inc., Houston, TX (O&E)
Perry Bonelli, City of San
Francisco, Concord, CA (O&E)
Andre A. Moss, Sun Oil
Limited, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas (O&E)