An equipment rental company evolves into a world leader in temporary utility services, Bill Walsh has the story.
Aggreko, named appropriately, for the Dutch word meaning “power,” was founded in the Netherlands in 1962 as a rental company for power equipment such as generators. Achieving much success in the European power markets, it was determined that the company should be expanded overseas to North America. In 1986, Aggreko acquired Electric Rental Systems, a small Gulf Coast power rental business, and thus came the birth of Aggreko North America. Shortly thereafter, Aggreko North America witnessed even further geographic expansion as it began serving the Canadian and Mexican markets as well.
Aggreko’s desire for growth was evident immediately, with the purchase of Mobile Air, Pearce and Airtech which provided a means for the company to attack more challenging temporary utility projects. No longer was power the only element of concern, but temperature equipment had also been added to the equation – portable air conditioners, electric heaters, air- and water-cooled chillers. And, not long to follow was a complete line of desiccant dehumidifiers and an environmentally friendly line of oil-free air compressors. Aggreko had truly become a full service utility provider, with numerous accomplishments worldwide. In 1997, Aggreko took a final step toward independence when it demerged from its parent company, Christian Salvesen and became a publicly traded company.
Aggreko, Inc. (formerly Aggreko North America), began nearly 15 years ago as a Louisiana-based power rental company with 12 employees and has since evolved into a publicly traded business with a nationwide network of more than 50 locations and 700-plus employees, serving the rental power, temperature and oil-free air markets.
“It is our customers that drive Aggreko to never be satisfied,” states Joe Jefferies, national marketing manager. “Through our commitment to always learn more about our customers, their markets and their needs, Aggreko is able to present custom-designed solutions.”
Full Service, Fast Response
Aside from its diverse line of product offerings, Aggreko’s highly-trained, technical and experienced employees are able to provide services that are unmatched in the industry. Twenty-four hours a day, Aggreko is available to res-pond to the needs of its customers, regardless of the situation. From natural disasters to planned outages, special events or seasonal circumstances, Aggreko’s multiple locations allow its em- ployees to respond promptly and locally with creative utility solutions. “Regardless of the industry or location we are capable of providing a total turnkey utility service or simply an emergency backup generator. Our customer’s needs are always put first and they know they can count on us to be there, and fast,” comments Jefferies.
Aggreko goes to great lengths to ensure that its customers are always provided with the best rental equipment and services available in the world. Aggreko’s vendors are carefully selected and must meet high standards for quality, reliability and fast delivery. The environment has also played a major factor in the development of new Aggreko equipment. An environmentally friendly line of generators, GreenPower, was designed to be rugged and reliable yet also incorporates elements for spill containment, low emissions and low noise levels as well. Aggreko has taken great strides in developing environmentally responsible rental equipment, often setting industry standards as with GreenPower.
Knowing that every industry has a unique set of utility needs, Aggreko is always trying to engineer and develop industry-specific equipment as well as applications to more successfully meet the individual needs of their customers. A prime example of this is the recent introduction of Aggreko’s CargoPower line. CargoPower units are custom-built reefer power packs designed to power refrigerated containers unique to the shipping industry.
Superior equipment and service are just part of the reason for Aggreko’s tremendous growth and success. Its central business philosophy is to provide creative solutions to the industrial, commercial and entertainment markets for their temporary power, temperature control and oil-free air needs. “Custom-built equipment designed for the rigors of rental duty is only the start of Aggreko’s commitment,” says Jefferies. “Our pledge to the rental market is backed by a leadership role that we at Aggreko are continuously looking to expand.”
The best rental equipment in the world is only as good as the people behind it however. All of Aggreko’s 50 plus locations are staffed with qualified employees who are constantly trained and updated on product lines, applications and industry trends. A dedicated national technical staff for unusual applications and large projects complements the local staff and further emphasizes Aggreko’s commitment to working with its customers to find solutions to problems that others can’t solve. The company’s philosophy is to measure its own success through the success of its customers.
There have been numerous success stories worldwide that demonstrate Aggreko’s ability to provide unique solutions to the various problems faced by its customers. A recent example occurred when a grocery warehouse holding $8 million worth of perishable food products experienced an equipment failure and lost cooling capabilities. Aggreko promptly responded with a 1,300-ton cooling system that kept the 240,000-square-foot warehouse at proper temperatures during the emergency situation, salvaging the food items. Another such example took place last summer when a northeast utility company was faced with insufficient power output for its customers during the hot summer days. Aggreko provided a 20 MW, environmentally friendly, power system that resolved the problem. And yet another recent solution was developed for a gasoline refinery experiencing a slow down in production due to vibrations in its main blower. Aggreko determined that the blower vibration was a temperature-related problem and in turn developed a sys-tem, which cooled the lubrication oil, eliminating the vibration problem and retur-ning production to normal.
The above success stories are impressive but perhaps Aggreko’s most famous undertaking was supplying the city of Atlanta with the massive amounts of temporary power and temperature needed for the 1996 Summer Olympics. After much evaluation and planning, Aggreko designed and implemented a complete system including over 50 MW of power and 12,000 tons of temperature equipment. Aggreko’s global network of facilities, equipment and specialists provided the means for this successful undertaking.
In its short yet powerful existence, Aggreko has redefined the role rental companies can play in the industries that it serves. Aggreko’s ever-expanding product line, massive global network of locations and superior employee base has given the company remarkable growth and success. Aggreko will continue to pursue its solution- and service-oriented business strategy and despite its status as a mammoth worldwide corporation, will remain focused on its hands-on approach to all customers’ utility concerns, big or small. Aggreko is able to offer a world of utility services, 24 hours a day on a local level.