Tuesday, December 1, 2009

British-Owned Conveyor Belt Maker Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Pittsburgh from Atlanta - Boosts Region's Energy Sector

Fenner Dunlop Americas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fenner PLC, a UK public company, has moved its corporate headquarters to the Pittsburgh area from suburban Atlanta.

The company said it wanted to be close to its North American belting product manufacturing facilities in both Ohio and Canada, as well as to key locations in newly acquired service businesses – including Conveyor Service Corporation in Blairsville, Indiana County, which it acquired last year – and major customer regions.

"Operating from Pittsburgh puts Fenner Dunlop at the heart of its North American business, allowing for optimal business management," said Cassandra Pan, president of Fenner Dunlop Americas. "We’re close to where it’s all happening and closer to our customers."

The headquarters relocation is expected to create approximately 40 jobs including several executives relocating from Atlanta and several new local hires. In addition to the efforts of the local commercial real estate firm NAI Pittsburgh, other development partners including the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Allegheny County Economic Development and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance worked collaboratively in support of this business investment win.

The company plans to lease 15,000 square feet of office space in the Omega Corporate Center in Robinson Township.

Founded in 1861 in the UK, the company primarily manufactured leather belting. Today, Fenner Dunlop has operations across Europe, North and South America, Australia, China, India and South Africa and attributes much of its substantial growth to a number of major acquisitions over the last 30 years.

Fenner Dunlop provides total conveyor belt solutions to the coal and hard rock mining industry for surface and underground mines worldwide. As such a provider, the company is now integrated into the Pittsburgh region’s energy economy, which comprises innovation leadership and supply chain expertise across traditional and alternative energy sectors.

One of these sectors is coal — a fossil fuel found in ample supply in the Pittsburgh region, where public and private R&D abounds to advance clean coal technology. CONSOL Energy Inc., world-headquartered in Washington County, is the largest producer of high-Btu bituminous coal in the United States and a major customer of Fenner Dunlop.

"Fenner Dunlop conveyor belts and the steel structures on which the belts ride are the principal ways that CONSOL moves coal from its mines. We have literally hundreds of miles of Fenner Dunlop belting in our mines, as well as overland belts. These allow CONSOL to meet its customers’ demands for coal - a fuel staple now and for the future," said CONSOL Energy CEO Brett Harvey, who also chairs the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Partnership.

"CONSOL Energy is pleased that one of its major vendors has made the decision to join the almost 800 energy-related companies that call the Pittsburgh region home," he said.

"During the recent Pittsburgh [G-20] Summit, President Obama hailed Pittsburgh for its transformation to a model 21st-century economy. That economy includes leadership related to energy—both traditional and alternative," said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

"Our innovative edge, coupled with a historic expertise in manufacturing, is amassing a diverse and robust energy supply chain in the region. For that and other reasons, companies like Fenner Dunlop have strategically selected southwestern Pennsylvania – a place gaining recognition as the nation’s new energy capital. From Pittsburgh, these companies are operating to supply the resources, products and components that will ultimately influence the delivery of energy – not only domestically, but globally – in efficient and more sustainable ways," he said.

With the mining industry as a primary customer, Fenner Dunlop also recognizes that the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Pittsburgh Safety and Health Technology Center in Bruceton, PA – just south of Pittsburgh – played a part in the company’s relocation decision.

"Nationally and internationally, conveyor belt fire safety in underground mines is a critical concern," Pan said. "Fenner Denlop is at the forefront of belt fire safety and believes it’s strategic to be close to the organization that is uniquely influencing standards compliance around our core business."

While Fenner Dunlop’s conveyor belting operations are largely reliant on the mining industry, the company has also developed a range of belting-related products including moving walkways, parcel handling, plasterboard forming belts, stable matting and agricultural equipment.

More information is available at www.fennerdunlopamericas.com.


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