Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Ex-Im Bank board approves financing for Bucyrus equipment; HUSCO to invest $30 million to expand Wisconsin plants; Weldall to expand in Waukesha; Stimulus helps to propel Badger Meter to record quarter

Ex-Im Bank board approves financing for Bucyrus equipment

The U.S. Export-Import Bank board has approved a $917 million finance guarantee for equipment from Oak Creek-based Bucyrus International Inc. and other U.S. vendors to be provided for a power plant project in India.

Bucyrus and the other U.S. vendors will sell mining and associated equipment to Sasan Power Ltd. for a 3,960-megawatt coal-fired power plant project in Madhya Pradesh, India.

According to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the project will support approximately 1,000 jobs at Bucyrus and its suppliers throughout the United States.

Earlier this year, under heavy political pressure from the White House and Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, the Ex-Im Bank reversed its initial rejection of the loan application because of concerns that the equipment would be used to mine coal, which is not a clean-burning fuel.

In July, Reliance Power Ltd., the owner of Sasan Power, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ex-Im Bank indicating its commitment to build a new 250-megawatt renewable energy facility. In addition, the Ex-Im Bank said the Sasan project will comply with the bank’s new environmental guidelines that limit carbon emissions to 850 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour.

“The board’s approval of the Sasan power project resulted from carefully balancing the need to support American jobs and energy exports, while simultaneously encouraging development of renewable energy facilities,” said Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred Hochberg. “We are pleased that Reliance Power, under the leadership of Anil Ambani, is taking steps to reduce the environmental effects of their activities and has long term plans which include power production with renewable energy alternatives.”

HUSCO to invest $30 million to expand Wisconsin plants

HUSCO International Inc. will invest approximately $30 million to expand its manufacturing capabilities at its Waukesha and Whitewater facilities.

HUSCO, headquartered in Waukesha, manufactures hydraulic and electro-hydraulic controls for use on mobile equipment. The company serves the automotive, agriculture, and construction industries.

The company will upgrade and expand its facilities in Waukesha and Whitewater.

The Waukesha facility will receive $400,000 in state tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Tax Credit Program from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

The Waukesha project will create 75 jobs and represents $8.0 million in investment.

 The Whitewater facility will receive $606,000 from the Community Development Block Grant-Economic Development Program from the Department Commerce, creating 90 jobs. The Whitewater project represents $22.3 million in investment. The expansions were announced last week by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.

Weldall to expand in Waukesha

Weldall Mfg. Inc. broke ground last week on a 76,000-square-foot expansion of its plant in Waukesha.

The expansion is supported by continued growth in existing business relationships and the addition of several new partnerships. The additional square footage is needed for anticipated increased workloads and future production requirements.

Started in 1974, Weldall has followed a path of continuous growth. The expansion will enable Weldall to work on larger and more complex fabrication, welding, and machining requirements. It includes additional lifting capabilities highlighted by two, 100-ton overhead cranes.

New production equipment is expected to include a large computer numerically controlled (CNC) robotic welder and additional support equipment as required.

With an increased business base, the company expects to hire at least 75 more employees.

The project is expected to be completed by April of 2011. Consolidated Construction Co., Inc. of Appleton, is the design-build contractor for the project.

Stimulus helps to propel Badger Meter to record quarter

Milwaukee-based Badger Meter Inc. reported that its third quarter sales, earnings from continuing operations and earnings per share from continuing operations were higher than in any quarter in the company’s history.

Net sales were a record $75.7 million for the third quarter, a 24.5-percent increase from sales of $60.8 million for the third quarter of 2009. Earnings from continuing operations were a record $9.0 million for the third quarter of 2010, a 29.5-percent increase from earnings from continuing operations of $7.0 million a year earlier.

The company’s quarterly net earnings fell to $9.0 million from $14.4 million a year ago. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2010 were a record 60 cents per share, up 27.7 percent from 47 cents a year earlier.

"This was an extremely strong quarter for Badger Meter. The elimination of uncertainty over the allocation of (federal) stimulus funds in February generated a rush of orders and shipments in the second quarter that carried into the third quarter," said Richard Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter.

Meeusen said sales were up in nearly all of the company’s product lines. The most significant increase was in sales of automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology products for water applications.


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