Weathering the ups and downs of an industry is the key to long-term survival and requires flexibility, foresight, and the ability to change to meet market demands. For Halgo Power, a provider of turnkey boiler solutions, proactive and transparent professional execution of services combined with experienced business leaders, skilled engineers, and construction experts have enabled this 50 plus-year-old company to thrive in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries despite fluctuations in the market.
The history of Halgo Power has its beginnings with the formation of the Hudson Rush Company in 1952. Hudson Rush was a manufacturer’s representative specializing in selling and specifying engineered products produced by companies such as Erie City Iron Works (later bought by Zurn, Industries), the leading providers of boilers and boiler solutions in their day. George Guillot, CEO of Halgo Power, was working with Hudson Rush at the time. In the 1970s, he purchased ownership of Hudson Rush, and the resulting company continued to provide the same services and engineering solutions. In 1971, Halgo, Inc. began to focus on boiler installation and repair.
For the past 12 years, Halgo Power has focused on turnkey solutions for industrial steam and power, providing engineering, fabrication, and installation of these systems to the company’s customers. Halgo Power specializes in package boilers (a shop fabricated boiler that provides up to 400,000 pounds-per-hour of steam) and ships the boiler as a single unit from the manufacturing plant. Package boilers of this size are typically used in refineries, larger scale industrial applications, and campus-wide applications, such as hospitals and colleges. The company has completed more than 50 turnkey package boiler installations since it began offering these solutions to its customers 12 years ago.
Today, Halgo Power’s business is driven by the environmental clean air acts, the emission standards, and efficiency needs of its industrial users. “The cost of fuel has increased, and the installed boilers in the country have aged,” says Jeff Guillot, chief operating officer. “The typical lifespan of a boiler is about 40 years, and many of the boilers in service that are within the segment of business we cover were installed between the end of the Second World War, and the early 1970s. There are large quantities of boilers that are now coming to the end of their life cycle. Companies are turning to us to meet their needs, and we are providing them with turnkey solutions.”
As a result of changes in the industry and the growth of the company, Halgo, Inc. divided into two companies in August, 2008: Halgo Power Inc. and Halgo PEC, Inc. (process, equipment, and controls) Halgo Power, Inc. is focused on power and steam solutions, including new boiler installation and replacements or retrofits of existing boilers. Halgo PEC continues to provide engineered products and services for the gas processing industry. “We made this split so each company could more efficiently focus on our target markets and more efficiently manage our resources to service our customers,” Guillot explained.
Corporate offices for Halgo Power, Inc. are located in Plano, Texas in a 6,000-square-foot facility dedicated to engineering and project management activities. A 4,000-square-foot distribution center in Katy, Texas focuses on supporting field installation activities. Halgo Power’s products and equipment are shipped to the job site for installation directly from the manufacturer, and experienced crews install the products on-site. Halgo employs more than 50 people, including four field installation crews and six lead engineers. The company also brings in partners and sub-contractors to augment its staff when necessary.
Halgo Power provides everything the customer needs, from major equipment to minor parts that operate a boiler. “We provide a typical boiler solution, including all of the auxiliary equipment needed for our customers to operate the boiler and provide steam and power to their operations,” Guillot says. “We deliver the solution to our customer and guarantee the performance of all of the components (amount of steam, efficiency of the boiler, and pollutant emissions of the boiler) as a single solution.”
EFFECTIVELY MEETING CHALLENGES
Current clean air standards require low emission of greenhouse gas or pollution when burning fossil fuels. To meet these standards, low NOx burner technology and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies were designed for boilers. These technologies have impacted Halgo Power’s business tremendously. Because all new boilers must meet current air standards and most states require older boilers to be updated to meet the standards, Halgo adds low NOx burners or SCRs or both to the boiler solution so that each boiler it installs or retrofits includes that technology.
The addition of economizers has also impacted Halgo’s business in a big way. Economizers improve the overall efficiency of a boiler by recovering the exhaust heat from the boilers and using it to heat the water coming into the boiler to turn it into steam. Economizers also cool the exhaust or flue gas coming out of the boiler, which reduces the pollutants and emissions of the boiler. “We typically add an economizer to a boiler to improve its efficiency up to 6 percent, which significantly lowers the fuel cost needed to operate the boiler,” Guillot says. “With today’s cost of natural gas and oil, that improves our customers’ ability to operate in a profitable manner.”
RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY
Halgo Power believes its relationships with B&W Boilers (a subsidiary of the McDermott Company and one of the oldest and leading manufacturers of boilers in the world) and Coen/Todd Combustion (a subsidiary of the John Zink Company) are major factors that have driven Halgo Power’s business forward. Halgo Power, Inc. is B&W Boiler’s exclusive representative in Texas, and Halgo Power engineers and installs B&W’s boilers throughout the United States. In addition, Halgo is Coen/Todd Combustion’s exclusive representative in North Texas. “These relationships have enabled us to develop a unique capability in the marketplace,” Guillot says. “We are the only company that we know of that provides a full turnkey solution to our customers that includes engineering, fabrication and installation of boiler solutions. Most companies will hire a large engineering procurement and construction firm and spend a fairly large amount of money to have engineering details developed and then the materials purchased and fabricated by a variety of subcontractors, followed by another set of contractors who install the product. We provide all of those services in a much more streamlined approach with a more efficient investment for our customers. Our specialists provide the most cost-effective and time effective installation to meet our customers’ needs, and that’s important today because of air quality standards and cost of fuel.”
RESPONDING TO TRENDS
Air emission standards have been set at a strict level by the federal government, but each state is responsible for implementing those standards and setting a time-line for implementation. Halgo Power, Inc. works with its customers to bring existing plants and boilers into compliance with those standards. For customers installing new boilers, Halgo Power assists customers in beginning at the appropriate time, approximately a year in advance of the desired steam production date, so the customers can be up-and running in time to meet their imposed deadlines. “Customers tend to wait too long to execute a boiler project, and air emission standard deadlines threaten to shut down their operations. We educate our customers about the process and work hard with them to prevent that from occurring,” says Guillot.
The increased price of fuel also has impacted Halgo Power’s business. Customers are replacing older, outdated, and lesser-efficient equipment with new equipment and retrofitting old equipment with new technology to increase efficiency. “There is a real cost for our customers that delay implementing needed boiler solutions. If you can save money every month with the new project, doing nothing for months is costly,” says Guillot.
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
Halgo Power, Inc. has experienced tremendous growth over the past five years – close to 30 percent per year. The company’s primary market ranges from southwest Texas to southeast Louisiana because the Gulf Coast petrochemical plants make up 80 percent of its market. Although the natural concentration of Halgo’s business is in this region, the company is not constrained by the Gulf Coast and has provided services to universities and industrial companies from coast to coast.
Capturing and reusing solid business practices is a key to Halgo’s success. Each boiler project is unique yet similar. Halgo creates and maintains a set of standards that are Halgo specific to ensure customers receive the best available business practices. “We spend 10 percent of our engineering time to make sure we introduce the details of each job into our standards so the next job receives the benefits of all the previous ones,” Guillot says. “We constantly reinvest in quality and efficiency in delivering projects to our customers. We are focused on providing value to our customer and we try to instill in all of our people that it is important to understand the business objectives our customers are trying to achieve with the boiler solutions in terms of time and cost. This enables us to find the solution that is most appropriate to our customers’ needs. We also keep those needs foremost in our minds when moving forward to ensure the targets and goals we are trying to achieve align closely with those of our customers.”
It all started over 50 years ago when Hudson Rush began providing engineering and engineering products to its customers. Today, Halgo Power Inc. provides turnkey boiler products and solutions to its customers, delivering value and meeting business objectives on a consistent basis. It’s no wonder customers in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries turn to Halgo Power to meet their boiler solution needs.