If it seems like the manufacturing world in Jacksonville is spinning more around the surge in natural gas, add Stellar Energy of Jacksonville and GT ICE in Ponte Vedra Beach to the companies angling for more spin-off business.
Stellar Energy and GT ICE have joined forces with the Crom Corp. in Gainesville to go after a contract to build a huge “turbine inlet air chilling” operation for Duke Energy at its Hines Energy Complex in Bartow.
The contract could be worth around $160 million. Stellar Energy has assembled large-scale systems at its Jacksonville plant and shipped them globally.
The Duke Energy contract would be among its largest in the United States.
“I think it’s great that we’ve got three leading Florida companies going after Florida work,” said Peter Gibson, chairman of Stellar Energy. “It says a lot for the state and what’s ahead of us.”
He said he hopes bringing together Florida-based companies would create some advantages in winning the Hines Energy Complex work, but adds “ultimately, Duke has to make its own commercial considerations.”
The Hines Energy Complex uses natural gas as fuel for generating electricity.
The consortium would build a system for cooling the gas turbines during hot weather so the power plant can generate more power with greater efficiency, according to the company.
Gibson said the company expects to see continued demand for such technology because natural gas has emerged as an economical fuel of choice.
“We feel we’re very well-placed to take advantage of what’s happening in the economy,” he said.