Trigen-Baltimore gains downtown UM contracts Deal to supply heat to campus buildings to yield $85 million

October 22, 1998|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Trigen-Baltimore Energy Corp. has been selected by the University of Maryland to provide heating services to more than 20 buildings at its downtown campus and hospital, contracts that will generate more than $85 million for the alternative energy company.

The selection of Trigen-Baltimore to supply heat to both the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland, Baltimore comes on the heels of its selection for $200 million worth of work by the U.S. Department of the Air Force.

As part of that contract, Trigen will build power systems, implement energy conservation methods and find ways to reduce pollution at 12 Air Force bases across the country. The company was selected from among 57 bidders, including Honeywell and Johnson Controls.

Trigen-Baltimore expects to earn $11 million on a pre-tax basis from the Air Force contract over the next five years.

Although separate, the University of Maryland contracts could signal the direction that the university system will take in deciding a $100 million-plus energy services contract for the College Park campus. The university is expected to make a decision on College Park's energy needs in the coming months.

At UMMS and UMAB, Trigen-Baltimore will provide heating, hot water and related services through 2013 for buildings totaling more than 5 million square feet.

Tom Herring, director of facilities management and engineering at UMMS, said Trigen's selection was based on price and reliability.

Trigen-Baltimore showed "a willingness to work in partnership with the hospital to solve a variety of energy-related needs," Herring said.

In winning the work at the schools, Trigen-Baltimore also topped its biggest competitor, a subsidiary of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

"We were a bidder on those projects, but Trigen won them," said Michael Delaney, a BGE spokesman. "But our Comfort Link subsidiary has several projects it's working on, and we believe there's a lot of business out there. We've won a lion's share of projects."

BGE's Comfort Link subsidiary provides heating and chilled-water air conditioning to the Baltimore Convention Center, Harborplace, the Garmatz Federal Building and the F&D Cos.

James J. Abromitis, Trigen-Baltimore's president, said his company expects to hire 10 technical employees, such as engineers and project managers, to help fulfill the federal and university contracts.

In all, Trigen-Baltimore owns four plants downtown that heat 350 downtown buildings, including City Hall, the 25-story Blaustein Building, the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the 35-story Legg Mason Tower and Mercy Medical Center.

The company is building a fifth plant in Inner Harbor East to supply heat and other energy services to that $350 million project, Abromitis said.

Pub Date: 10/22/98

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