SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

August 18, 2008 06:30 ET

LIUNA and LECET Leverage Windfarm Construction Labor Expertise to Win National Agreement for Wind Power Projects, an Industrial Info News Alert

SUGAR LAND, TX--(Marketwire - August 18, 2008) - Armed with windfarm research provided by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas), representatives from the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) met with representatives from leading windfarm constructor White Construction Incorporated (Clinton, Indiana) to explore the possibility of working together. The union representatives showed White Construction data on more than 200 windfarm projects in the United States and Canada scheduled to bid out construction services within the next year. These projects have a total investment value of more than $52 billion. White Construction was very impressed with the magnitude of information available to the laborers through Industrial Info, resulting in a signed agreement to use union labor on all windfarm projects. In addition to White Construction, three other contractors specializing in windfarm construction have used the agreement including M.A. Mortenson Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Michels Corporation (Brownsville, Wisconsin) and Jay Cashman Incorporated (Quincy, Massachusetts).

According to Terry Bumpers, Director of Field Operations for LECET, the union hopes to capitalize on its windfarm expertise and staffing capabilities into involvement on T. Boone Pickens' ambitious $7 billion, 4,000-megawatt (MW) windfarm project sited in five sparsely populated counties in the Texas Panhandle. This project is located in a part of the country where labor will be hard to come by. As part of Mr. Pickens' plan to produce 20% of the United States' electricity requirement from wind, Mesa Power LP (Dallas, Texas) is planning to construct about 4,000 wind towers in Carson, Gray, Hemphill, Roberts and Wheeler counties, as well as electricity transmission lines and a water pipeline.

Mesa Power has ordered 667 wind turbines (about 1,000 MW) from General Electric (NYSE:GE) (Fairfield, Connecticut) for the first phase of the project. "T. Boone Pickens' proposal is reachable only if the government passes the Wind Tax Credit," Mr. Bumpers said. "The tax credit is really what's driving new windfarm construction in the U.S."

Labor is in great demand in the U.S., especially along the Texas Gulf Coast, where major projects like Motiva's $7 billion crude expansion project in Port Arthur, Texas, will require 3,000 construction workers. Mr. Bumpers said: "On big jobs like this, we're prepared to help project developers defray some of the costs in regards to recruiting, screening and training construction workers that could include bringing in a full-time recruiter, screening/drug testing, setting up mobile training units and offering OSHA 10-hour training classes."

Industrial Info Resources (IIR) is a marketing information service specializing in industrial process, energy and financial related markets with products and services ranging from industry news, analytics, forecasting, plant and project databases, as well as multimedia services. For more information send inquiries to powergroup@industrialinfo.com or visit us online at www.industrialinfo.com.

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