St. Louis Energy News & Marketing

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
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While St. Louis is no Houston, St. Louis is a big center for energy.

Unfortunately, there is no concerted effort, or so it seems, by local leaders to promote St. Louis as a "Center for Energy".

I could see a marketing campaign....."St. Louis: The Center of Energy" or "St. Louis: In The Center of Energy."

Just as the financial services community in St. Louis is gearing up to lure more jobs to St. Louis by promoting current assets and talent, I believe if St. Louis and the RCGA promoted St. Louis as a "diversified" energy center, the region could potentially attract more energy sector jobs.

Below are major energy companies (and subsidiaries) based in St. Louis.

Coal & Electric Companies
-Ameren Energy, $8-billion firm
-Peabody Energy, $7-billion firm
-Arch Coal, $4.2-billion firm
-Foresight Energy, $600-million firm
-Armstrong Energy, $250-million firm

Oil & Gas Companies
-Center Oil, $4.5-billion
-Apex Oil, $3.6-billion
-The LaClede Group, $1.6-billion
-World Point Terminals, Inc.

USA/Regional/Subsidiary Offices
-CG Power Solutions (U.S. Headquarters)
-Eaton Corporation Electrical Sector - Midwest
-Dynegy, Inc. $1.6-million (Regional Office)
-Centerpoint Energy Mississippi River Transmission (subsidiary) (Directors)
-Zoltek (acquired by Japan-based Toray in 2014) maintains HQ's in St. Louis, $185-million
-CooperBussmann (subsidiary of Eaton/Cooper Industries)

Energy Suppliers & Manufacturers
-Emerson Electric, $24.5-billion firm
-Graybar, $5.5-billion
-Belden, $1.95-billion
-CIC Group and Nooter/Eriksen, $1.2-billion, source
-Aegion, $1-billion
-Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., $330-million
-Esco Technologies, $621-million
-Boomerang Tube, $500-million

Solar Energy
-SunEdison (formerly MEMC/Monsanto Electronic Materials Company), $2.7-billion firm
-Microgrid Energy LLC

Alternative/Ethanol Energy
-Abengoa Bioenergy (U.S. Headquarters)
-Future Fuel, $300-million
-Center Ethanol Company, LLC

Wind Energy
-Wind Capital Group
-SunEdison

Water
-American Water Missouri (St. Louis)
-American Water Illinois (Belleville)
-Siemens Water Technologies

Energy Tubing
-Tubular Steel, Inc.
-Omega Steel Company
-American Piping Products

Miscellaneous Infrastructure
-Keystone Pipeline
-Cenovus (formerly Phillips 66 Refinery)(Wood River), 6th largest domestic oil refinery
-Schneider Electric USA Technology Center

Energy Incubators/Discovery/Accelerators/Research Parks
-BRDG Park
-Nidus Partners, Inc.
-Center for Advanced Biofuel Systems (CABS)
-Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels
-Advanced Coal and Energy Research Facility

Energy Support Organizations/Groups
-Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization
-National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

Relocated/Merged
-Patriot Coal, $3-billion firm (Moved to West Virginia, 2015)

Local Publicly-Traded Energy Firms
-Emerson Electric, $24.5-billion
-Ameren Energy, $8-billion
-Peabody Energy, $7-billion
-Graybar Electric, $5.7-billion
-Arch Coal, $4.2-billion firm
-SunEdison (formerly MEMC/Monsanto Electronic Materials Company), $2-billion
-The LaClede Group, $1.6-billion (2014)
-Aegion, $980-million
-Foresight Energy, $967-million (2014)
-Esco Technologies, $621-million (2014)
-Future Fuel, $125-million
-World Point Terminals, Inc. $45-million

Petro (Gas)
Moto, Inc. (MotoMart)
Western-Oil (Petro Marts)


Major Non-local Energy Companies with a Presence In Metro St. Louis
-Dynegy
-Cenovus
-Centerpoint Energy
-Phillips 66
-Atmos Energy
-Enbridge
-Veolia
-Siemens Energy
-NuStar
-SunCoke Energy
-Schneider Electric
-Baker Hughes
-ABB
-Eaton
-CG Power Solutions
-Marathon Pipe Line, LLC
-Kinder Morgan
-BP
-NGL Energy Partners
-Buckeye Energy Partners, L.P.
-US Silica
-FTS International
-Unimin
arch city wrote:
I believe if St. Louis and the RCGA promoted St. Louis as a "diversified" energy center, the region could potentially attract more energy sector jobs.


I agree. I think we'll see this effort in 2013.
stlien wrote:
arch city wrote:
I believe if St. Louis and the RCGA promoted St. Louis as a "diversified" energy center, the region could potentially attract more energy sector jobs.


I agree. I think we'll see this effort in 2013.

Hopefully. It seems like a no-brainer to me. The region couldn't compete directly with Houston - the true US Energy Capital - or Dallas, however, St. Louis simply would offer that it has some real (hard) and respectable energy assets and firms that helps it to be an alternative environment to the crowds in Houston and Dallas.

St. Louis is already tied into the Keystone Pipeline and whenever the Keystone XL Pipeline is approved, I am sure that will lead to more jobs in St. Louis.

Surely, there are environmentalists who are against coal and pipelines, but the truth is that we get a lot of our energy from these sources - and the resources are not foreign.

It wouldn't hurt for regional leadership to figure out how many energy-related jobs there are in metro St. Louis. The Wood River Refinery alone has about 900 permanent employees. The new $5-billion Prairie State Energy Campus (coal plant), spearheaded by Peabody Energy, has about 600 employees. It is supplying power to customers as far away as Cleveland, Ohio. (Source)

Is there an energy consortium in St. Louis? Are there promotions and marketing like what is being done with local IT, biotech and financial services sectors? Good marketing could potentially spawn jobs.

Seems kind of corny, but why not seek Cenovus Energy's US HQ's to be based in St. Louis since they own 50% of the Wood River Refinery - which is one of its biggest assets? They have no U.S. headquarters that I am aware.

Until St. Louis touts and exploits its assets and takes risks, St. Louis is always going to be second and third fiddle trying to catch up.

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On another note, I also think it is time for Peabody Energy to consider buying small-to-medium sized utility companies. Partnerships with utilties are fine, but when you own them you control more of your destiny. I don't know what kind of regulatory hurdles would be in the way, but instead of being a just a supplier to them - own them.

Peabody Energy could start with smaller regional utilities to build a portfolio of electric companies as a subsidiary.
I forgot to add that Dynegy Inc. has a major corporate office in O'Fallon, Illinois (map).

Dynegy, Inc. used to be one of the top independent gas and electric powerhouses ($4-billion), but it is now only a $1.6-billion firm (as of 2011) based in Houston. The firm just emerged from bankruptcy and Carl Icahn owns a good chunk of the company.

Just a thought. Half of Dynegy Inc.'s assets are in Illinois close to St. Louis - and none are in Houston or Texas - not even close, yet the main corporate office is based in Houston. After recently emerging from bankruptcy, you'd think Dynegy would want to save money by consolidating offices in a more central location close to their assets - if not downtown St. Louis, why not Clayton?

Where is the political and business leadership in St. Louis that could formulate a strategy to help the region capitalize off of these local assets?

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Dynegy, Inc. Asset Map
The RCGA seems to be focused on IT, Financial services, and health & biotech industries. You're right, an energy consortium would probably do wonders in terms of business attraction. I can see Peabody making some aquisitions, maybe in the clean tech arena. And regarding Dynegy, their lease expires in 2017..they're on STL's radar.
Just look at what Devon did for downtown OKC.
moorlander wrote:
Just look at what Devon did for downtown OKC.


That was a huge project. Over 1,000 employees and 1 million sq ft. If we can achieve half of that in 3 years, it'll be transformative.
^And Devon moved 500 jobs from Houston to Oklahoma City in order consolidate operations and to help fill that large new awesome tower. Although it is struggling nowadays alas Enron, Chesapeake Energy also built a massive campus in OKC last year (2011).

While Oklahoma is a major player in the gas and oil energy sectors, I don't think people understand how huge it is for Devon to stay in OKC then pluck 500 jobs from Houston. That's major!

At a time when WORLD energy companies are either moving international headquarters, US operations, North American operations, subsidiaries and are opening major supplier operations in Houston, OKC dodged a big-time bullet and maintaining Devon is a major coup. Even Emerson Electric has two subsidiaries in Houston.

FYI, Phillips 66 was recently spunoff from ConocoPhillips, and instead of Phillips 66 moving back to Bartlesville, OK (near Tulsa) where their HQs had operated prior to the merger, they chose to stay in Houston and Phillips is building a new headquarters in Houston's burgeoning second Energy Corridor.

About five years ago, St. Louis' Maverick Tube (a $1.8-billion F1000 firm) was bought by Tenaris, which US operations are based in Houston. Tenaris moved 150 jobs from Chesterfield to Houston. Then most recently, Kansas City lost Layne Christensen - an energy supplier - to Houston (The Woodlands).

Energy and healthcare are Houston's main job sectors. The poaching of related firms from other cities to Texas is one of the reasons for Houston's economic growth.

Since September 11th, domestic energy production has been serious talk and serious business. St. Louis should not be a laggard in energy like it was in technology. Canadian tar sands, pipelines, gas, shale fracking, coal, clean coal, green energy, biofuels, wind, solar etc. - love them or hate them - St. Louis needs to get on board. The world will always need energy. Local leaders need to pay attention to nurture, massage and market the local energy community.

Biotech, financial services, IT, health care are good bets - just add energy.

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Maverick's former HQs in Chesterfield
^Regarding Dynegy's being based in Houston: I would think a lot of their HQ's location is due to how corporations are taxed in Houston, as well as the draw of being in that industry cluster. OKC's incredible growth due to the Natural Gas sector's incredible growth is commendable, and I hope mimicable here. Gotta love that fracking gas...

Note on Laclede Group: They've just made some major acquisitions: Missouri Gas Energy and New England Gas Company.
Source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and- ... 53912.html

What interests me going forward is the continuation of STL as a national cluster for coal-related energy, as coal is generally hated by the environmental movement, especially when natural gas is available (unless "fracked").

Into the future, I see potential new STL-related growth in energy from a couple avenues:
1. Alternatives, including the work done with algae at the Danforth Center.
2. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), where the US can compete with countries like Qatar that have succeeded in this for years.
3. International markets. See: Peabody in China and Australia.
I would think our local coal co's could propel the clean coal movement into high gear.

Months ago WashU engineers were awarded a grant to further study clean coal technologies - http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/24280.aspx
moorlander wrote:
Just look at what Devon did for downtown OKC.


I was in OKC last week visiting relatives. We went to the bar and restaurant on the 49th floor of the new Devon tower where I took these photos of the NBA Thunder arena and the Devon Ice Rink.

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112 by ZGare, on Flickr

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OKC Thunder arena and Devon Ice Rink from Vast Restaurant by ZGare, on Flickr
gone corporate wrote:
^Regarding Dynegy's being based in Houston: I would think a lot of their HQ's location is due to how corporations are taxed in Houston, as well as the draw of being in that industry cluster.

I think it is a little bit of both, plus the fact that oil and gas are true natural resources around Houston. Pipelines run all around Houston and oil wells dot the landscape. Houston is truly a world energy capital.

gone corporate wrote:
incredible growth due to the Natural Gas sector's incredible growth is commendable, and I hope mimicable here. Gotta love that fracking gas...

In Missouri, there's not a lot of Shale basins around St. Louis. They are largely in Western Missouri, although the basins do extend north and southeast of the St. Louis metro. The Illinois shale basins are largely around St. Louis and Southern Illinois. Fracking is dangerous and there are concerns about fracking causing earthquakes - something St. Louis doesn't need.

Image

Image

gone corporate wrote:
What interests me going forward is the continuation of STL as a national cluster for coal-related energy, as coal is generally hated by the environmental movement, especially when natural gas is available (unless "fracked").

Coal is one of America's most abundant resources and because there is diversity in energy options it isn't used as nearly as much nowadays as it had been in the past. I would like to see St. Louis maintain its status a coal capital. As you have suggested, there are plans underway to burn it cleaner and the research opportunities for St. Louis are huge.

gone corporate wrote:
Into the future, I see potential new STL-related growth in energy from a couple avenues:
1. Alternatives, including the work done with algae at the Danforth Center.
2. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), where the US can compete with countries like Qatar that have succeeded in this for years.
3. International markets. See: Peabody in China and Australia.

All good, but the bottom line, in my opinion, is that the region's leadership needs to promote the local energy cluster more. Without marketing the local energy sector it can't be bolstered, and with the exception of the coal cluster, St. Louis' energy strengths will continue to fly under the radar nationally and internationally.
Energy Boosts U.S. Office Market as Pittsburgh Rents Jump
By Hui-yong Yu - Jan 6, 2013 11:01 PM CT

Leasing demand from natural-gas and other energy companies is helping to bolster the U.S. office (BBREOFPY) market and drive growth in cities such as Pittsburgh, where rents are at their highest in more than a decade.

Greater Pittsburgh, along with Houston and other cities with concentrations of energy-related workers, is outpacing national growth in rents and occupancy, according to a report today from Reis Inc., which showed U.S. office landlords had net gains in leased space for a second year in 2012, following three years of declines. Tenants in energy, along with technology, helped push the national vacancy rate to a three-year low.

In the fourth quarter, greater Pittsburgh office rents after landlord concessions climbed 1 percent from the previous three months, compared with 0.8 percent for the U.S., while the area’s vacancy rate held at 15.5 percent, below the national average of 17.1 percent, New York-based Reis said. Pittsburgh tenants paid an average of $17.68 a square foot in the fourth quarter, the highest since 2000, ranking it 12th out of 79 markets for growth. In Houston, effective rents rose 1.7 percent, the fifth-most nationwide.

“In a market that’s been very choppy, the energy sector has been one of the bright spots,” said Dennis Friedrich, chief executive officer of Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (BPO), the New York-based owner of Houston’s Allen Center and properties in other energy-dominated markets, including Denver and Calgary.

(Read More)
Devon continues to gut most Houston operations.
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Devon Energy to cut 20 more positions in Houston
Houston Business Journal by Olivia Pulsinelli, Web producer
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 12:32pm CST

Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) has updated the initial plans for its Houston job cuts and has boosted the number of positions affected.

In November, Devon said it expected to terminate 53 positions during the two-week period beginning on Dec. 31, 2012, after the company in October said it is closing its Houston office at 1200 Smith St. as part of a consolidation plan.
FYI, Dynegy has a second corporate office in O'Fallon, Illinois.
________________________________

Dynegy COO Kevin Howell resigns
Houston Business Journal by Deon Daugherty, Reporter
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 6:29am CST

Kevin Howell, COO at Dynegy Inc. (NYSE: DYN), stepped down from the role, effective Jan. 4. He will continue to work for the Houston-based power producer in an advisory capacity.

“Kevin came out of retirement to join me on the management team at Dynegy in June 2011 during a critical period in the company’s restructuring process,” Robert Flexon, Dynegy president and CEO, said in a statement. “His deep expertise in the power industry and his hands-on experience in commercial operations and markets, plant operations, as well as his overall leadership skills have made him an effective and essential part of the Dynegy management team over the past 18 months.”
The Keystone XL Pipeline could mean more jobs for St. Louis.
_________________________________________

TransCanada-Keystone XL protestors arrested in Houston
Houston Business Journal by Deon Daugherty, Reporter
Date: Monday, January 7, 2013, 2:03pm CST - Last Modified: Monday, January 7, 2013, 2:57pm CST

Two protestors were arrested on Monday at the Galleria-area office of TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) after locking themselves to one another and a door in the lobby of the Calgary, Canada-based company.

The group of about 50 people were protesting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline proposed to bring heavy tar-sands crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The group said on Monday it was bringing the protest directly to the company.

A spokesman for the group, Ramsey Sprague, said earlier in the day they would occupy the office until police forced them to leave.
A new bricks-and-mortar energy institute is planned in Pittsburgh. It appears that it is going to focus on all forms of energy whereas Washington University's Advanced Coal and Energy Research Facility only focuses on clean coal solutions.

Are you paying attention St. Louis? Don't let Houston, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, OKC and increasingly Cleveland have all of the fun.
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CMU to build new 100,000-square-foot energy facility
Pittsburgh Business Times by Anya Litvak, Reporter
Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 10:39am EST - Last Modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 2:00pm EST

Carnegie Mellon University announced that a new 100,000 square foot building will be the home for its recently-launched Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

The building, called Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall, received a $2 million grant from the Eden Hall Foundation and should be completed by 2015. It will be located behind Hamerschlag Hall, above the railroad tracks.

It will house “wet and dry laboratories, collaborative workspaces, office spaces, a café and a 10,000-square-foot cleanroom facility,” according to CMU’s announcement.

The Scott Institute’s goal is to further research in engineering, economics, architecture and public policy as they relate to energy efficiency, carbon emissions, smart grid technology and energy storage.
arch city wrote:
Washington University's Advanced Coal and Energy Research Facility only focuses on clean coal solutions.

Are you paying attention St. Louis? Don't let Houston, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, OKC and increasingly Cleveland have all of the fun.


Does it makes sense for everyone to always chase after the same carrot? St. Louis is not a center for the energy industry outside of coal. St. Louis should stick to its strengths: bio-tech (Monsanto, Danforth), coal (Peabody, Arch, Patriot, Armstrong, Foresight) , healthcare & health insurance (BJC, Express Scripts, Centene), industrial electronics (Emerson, Graybar, Belden, MEMC), and Agri-Business/Nutrition (Bunge, Nestle, Solae, Post). The barriers to entry into tech or energy are enormous. Why go up against Houston or Silicon Valley when 2 dozen cities are already trying to do so? St. Louis will get the best return on investment if it sticks with its strengths. Why would you open a major energy business here when you can get much better talent in Houston or even New Orleans or Oklahoma City? Or a major tech business when there is Silicon Valley/San Francisco, New York, and Seattle.

I don't mean for St. Louis to pigeonhole itself as a one industry town (ie Detroit). I just think it should play to its strengths and not always run with the herd. Of course any effort to attract talent or industry would be helped by St. Louis being a unified city/county/region. But that's for a different thread.
wabash wrote:
Does it makes sense for everyone to always chase after the same carrot? St. Louis is not a center for the energy industry outside of coal. St. Louis should stick to its strengths: bio-tech (Monsanto, Danforth), coal (Peabody, Arch, Patriot, Armstrong, Foresight) , healthcare & health insurance (BJC, Express Scripts, Centene), industrial electronics (Emerson, Graybar, Belden, MEMC), and Agri-Business/Nutrition (Bunge, Nestle, Solae, Post). The barriers to entry into tech or energy are enormous. Why go up against Houston or Silicon Valley when 2 dozen cities are already trying to do so? St. Louis will get the best return on investment if it sticks with its strengths. Why would you open a major energy business here when you can get much better talent in Houston or even New Orleans or Oklahoma City? Or a major tech business when there is Silicon Valley/San Francisco, New York, and Seattle.

I don't mean for St. Louis to pigeonhole itself as a one industry town (ie Detroit). I just think it should play to its strengths and not always run with the herd. Of course any effort to attract talent or industry would be helped by St. Louis being a unified city/county/region. But that's for a different thread.

I see your point, but at the same time, I disagree. What are you afraid of?

Question: Why should St. Louis keep chasing Chinese air cargo when Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles already have significant Chinese air cargo traffic? Why keep inviting the Chinese back to the St. Louis area if other regions are already exploiting Chinese air cargo to their economic benefit? Get my point?

Just because one or more markets are wooing the same industries, it doesn’t mean another city shouldn’t want to join the herd. The last one in the herd is usually the one eaten for lunch or dinner.

St. Louis had been laggard when it came to new economy jobs - especially IT. At one time, it was ranked nearly at the bottom of the pack. St. Louis studied other cities like Cleveland, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Raleigh-Durham and others. What did St. Louis come up with after it identified its local strengths? Biotech, which then it promoted the region with BioBelt.

The bones of biotech were already in St. Louis, but the region had to put meat on the bones by corralling and marketing the region's biotech strengths. National media - including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others paid attention.

A headline in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer read, "St. Louis learns, leapfrogs over Cleveland in efforts to market itself".

As a result of marketing itself, St. Louis has developed numerous biotech nodes – CORTEX, Creve Coeur, Chesterfield. Further, after a lot of hard work and venture capitalists, St. Louis is now recognized as an emerging IT center. And you believe the region should leave IT for the tech honchos and creators in Silicon Valley?

St. Louis could never become the Silicon Valley or Hollywood for that matter. Point is though, St. Louis has the bones to build a respectable energy center. St. Louis is already a center of energy just as it was already a center for biotech and plant sciences.

Coal is energy. And because St. Louis has some of the world’s largest public and private coal companies supplying some of the world’s biggest utilities and governments with the abundant resource, that makes St. Louis an energy center by default - not to mention the coal basins very near the region.

Nevertheless, St. Louis shouldn’t seek to be a one-trick pony with coal. Coal could be St. Louis’ flagship energy industry, but as stated here energy is diverse – wind, solar, biofuels, oil and gas. All of these types of companies already exist in St. Louis. You should go back and take a look at the companies listed in the first post. Many are international. Apex and Center oil companies are among the largest private oil firms in the country.

St. Louis doesn’t need to be Houston, OKC or Dallas - because it can’t. However, it can identify, clearly define and promote its energy bones, just as St. Louis identified and marketed its biotech bones – especially in plant science.

What are you afraid of? :)
I can see you're on a sort of crusade here and I've enjoyed some of the informative posts its brought on. So I'll refrain from bubble bursting and naysaying.

I think to some extent we're saying the same thing. For instance:
arch city wrote:
However, it can identify, clearly define and promote its energy bones, just as St. Louis identified and marketed its biotech bones – especially in plant science


I whole heartedly agree that St. Louis should focus on its strength in coal just as it did with plant science. As for other industries: We have Ameren and Laclede (I can't see another utility that doesn't serve the bi-state area moving here). Wind and biofuels MIGHT be a possibilities for encouragement and investment. Nat Gas and Oil are out (we don't have any and are at a massive disadvantages to other regions/research centers). I think shooting to be an energy center that does it all and is cutting edge across the board is spreading things a bit thin. There are only so many research dollars and subsidies to go around. Focusing them on where we already have talent, expertise, and a competitive advantage could mean the difference between being the premier global center for clean coal research, a leading center for bio-fuels, or an also ran in a broader approach to energy investment. At some point I think you have to pick your winners.

Also, it's misleading to say that Dynegy has co-corporate HQs in Houston and O'Fallon. They have a small office in a sort of strip mall development in O'Fallon, probably doing back office work for their power generation operations in Alton and Baldwin. The main contact there is in "HR Compliance & Regulatory". That is, if the office still exists. 9,000 sq. ft. at its address are currently listed as available.
Arch: I also compliment your passion here. I'd also recommend taking a firm analysis to see in what Sectors within the Energy Industry does STL have competitive advantages from which we can build industry clusters, such as what STL clearly has with coal. We also have a firm hand in the creation of steel piping used for fuel transportation, such as Maverick and Bull Moose (although they may be owned by companies outside STL).

What we don't have are proximate natural deposits of fossil fuels. This is why Texas is so big in Oil, and why OKC is the new hub of Natural Gas. We're never going to be a hub for oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, nuclear, or even primary hydroelectric because we don't have the natural resources proximate to capitalize upon.

What we do have is outlier research and development. This could be where renewables takes STL to another level.

Look to what is going on with renewable fuels at the Danforth Institute, such as algae for batteries. In fact, check out the work underway as part of their grants from Enterprise Holdings: from this research, they are generating possible fuels from agriculture (not just corn to ethanol, much bigger than that...). Further, this also capitalizes on our pre-existing and growing cluster of plant-centric biotechnology firms, thus allowing these companies to develop and seek out new technologies at a faster and more efficient rate than if they were located in an Energy cluster that lacked one in Biotechnology.

For green energy, consider also the solar work underway by MEMC, the wind farms being developed by Wind Capital Group, and especially the work being conducted by Spanish firm Abengoa Bioenergy, which chose STL for its US operations after a national search. Because of our supportive industries, they came here and are thriving. Understanding their reasonings for choosing STL will allow you, and others, to best position STL for specific energy sources.

Then again... What alternative natural deposits are proximate to STL?
Rare Earth Elements.

Search for stories on the Rare Earth Elements site about 100mi down 44 from STL. One of the largest sites for these elements in the continental US, MO has been pushing the Feds for permission to harvest the site in recent years.
http://www.stltoday.com/business/bond-b ... 59562.html

From this, one could perhaps attract new Thorium reactors:
http://youtu.be/uK367T7h6ZY

Talk about one hell of an industry to start proximate to STL...
^
I just saw this:
http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/20 ... fpnewsfeed

Ames, IA got a boost from the feds.
wabash wrote:
I can see you're on a sort of crusade here and I've enjoyed some of the informative posts its brought on. So I'll refrain from bubble bursting and naysaying.

I think to some extent we're saying the same thing.

I whole heartedly agree that St. Louis should focus on its strength in coal just as it did with plant science. As for other industries: We have Ameren and Laclede (I can't see another utility that doesn't serve the bi-state area moving here). Wind and biofuels MIGHT be a possibilities for encouragement and investment. Nat Gas and Oil are out (we don't have any and are at a massive disadvantages to other regions/research centers). I think shooting to be an energy center that does it all and is cutting edge across the board is spreading things a bit thin. There are only so many research dollars and subsidies to go around. Focusing them on where we already have talent, expertise, and a competitive advantage could mean the difference between being the premier global center for clean coal research, a leading center for bio-fuels, or an also ran in a broader approach to energy investment. At some point I think you have to pick your winners.

Also, it's misleading to say that Dynegy has co-corporate HQs in Houston and O'Fallon. They have a small office in a sort of strip mall development in O'Fallon, probably doing back office work for their power generation operations in Alton and Baldwin. The main contact there is in "HR Compliance & Regulatory". That is, if the office still exists. 9,000 sq. ft. at its address are currently listed as available.

First, it isn't misleading to report that Dynegy has co-corporate offices. GOOGLE IT! Better yet....you can check out what the St. Louis Business Journal has to say about it here. Second, even if the Dynegy work being done in O'Fallon, Illinois could be "back office" work, it is still a corporate office with employees in the St. Louis area. Surely "the main" corporate headquarters office is currently in Houston, but the company's presence in St. Louis should not be understated. The fact that a corporate of office - of any kind - is located in any city is relevant. Last, I called Dynegy-Houston and their O'Fallon office is still operating and it is a corporate office.

Is AB Inbev's North American headquarters irrelevant to St. Louis because the bigger wigs are in Belgium? Hell, how many banana trees and boats are in Charlotte or Cincinnati? Yet, prior to leaving Cincy for Charlotte, Chiquita had its international headquarters in Cincinnati. Charter Communications barely has any customers in the Northeast, yet they moved corporate offices to Connecticut.

Point is, a utility or an energy company doesn't have to serve a particular region to be based in it. Although I understand why Dynegy would want to be in Houston, Dynegy has no assets in Houston or Texas yet a big chunk of their assets are located in Illinois - near St. Louis. As you see, a firm can be based where it wants.

Also, I know coal basins are an abundant St. Louis area resource. This is why St. Louis has coal companies out of the wazoo. AND in its basic form, coal is a fossil fuel that is used to generate energy. Why do you think Peabody Coal Company changed its name to Peabody Energy? Go to Energy.gov/coal. Today, coal fuels about 50 percent of US electricity production and provides about a quarter of the country’s total energy. Energy!!

You also mentioned biofuels. Do you know that Abengoa Bioenergy selected St. Louis for its North American headquarters? Do you know that Abengoa Bioenergy is the world's second largest producer of ethanol? Isn't ethanol an alternative energy? Well, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, it is. Energy!

Certainly St. Louis should nurture local coal firms and support research for clean coal solutions. And if St. Louis happens to become a "premier global center for clean coal research and a leading center for bio-fuels" it would all relate to energy and I'd applaud it. But let's not forget to mention the significant oil, gas, wind and solar firms and infrastructure that are already in St. Louis' backyard.

Overall, I think you simply don't get the point I'm making or perhaps you are arguing just for the sake of arguing. Or maybe you think I am comparing St. Louis to Houston or OKC when I am not. I know the St. Louis and Missouri aren't sitting on top of gas and oil like Texas or Oklahoma. I am not even campaigning for those specific industries to be lauded as genuine "St. Louis" resources.

I could go on an on, but I don't know how to stress it any clearer, St. Louis does have its own "niche" of major energy firms and suppliers. Coal firms are not the only major energy companies in St. Louis.

Last, St. Louis is already acknowledged as either a "strong or emerging energy city". Now all it has to do is capitalize on its assets with marketing like it has done with financial services, health care, IT and biotech.
gone corporate wrote:
Arch: I also compliment your passion here. I'd also recommend taking a firm analysis to see in what Sectors within the Energy Industry does STL have competitive advantages from which we can build industry clusters, such as what STL clearly has with coal. We also have a firm hand in the creation of steel piping used for fuel transportation, such as Maverick and Bull Moose (although they may be owned by companies outside STL).

What we don't have are proximate natural deposits of fossil fuels. This is why Texas is so big in Oil, and why OKC is the new hub of Natural Gas. We're never going to be a hub for oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, nuclear, or even primary hydroelectric because we don't have the natural resources proximate to capitalize upon.

What we do have is outlier research and development. This could be where renewables takes STL to another level.

Look to what is going on with renewable fuels at the Danforth Institute, such as algae for batteries. In fact, check out the work underway as part of their grants from Enterprise Holdings: from this research, they are generating possible fuels from agriculture (not just corn to ethanol, much bigger than that...). Further, this also capitalizes on our pre-existing and growing cluster of plant-centric biotechnology firms, thus allowing these companies to develop and seek out new technologies at a faster and more efficient rate than if they were located in an Energy cluster that lacked one in Biotechnology.

For green energy, consider also the solar work underway by MEMC, the wind farms being developed by Wind Capital Group, and especially the work being conducted by Spanish firm Abengoa Bioenergy, which chose STL for its US operations after a national search. Because of our supportive industries, they came here and are thriving. Understanding their reasonings for choosing STL will allow you, and others, to best position STL for specific energy sources.

Then again... What alternative natural deposits are proximate to STL?
Rare Earth Elements.

Search for stories on the Rare Earth Elements site about 100mi down 44 from STL. One of the largest sites for these elements in the continental US, MO has been pushing the Feds for permission to harvest the site in recent years.
http://www.stltoday.com/business/bond-b ... 59562.html

From this, one could perhaps attract new Thorium reactors:
http://youtu.be/uK367T7h6ZY

Talk about one hell of an industry to start proximate to STL...


Dude, you are making my point. And who said anything about St. Louis being "a hub of gas and oil"? Where is that written anywhere by me from my keyboards? It isn't. I have said over and over "a center of energy" - not gas, not oil. I've said on this thread that St. Louis couldn't compete with Houston, Dallas, OKC or even Denver in oil and gas. But that doesn't change the fact that St. Louis has large oil and gas companies.

Further, many of the firms - some of which I listed in my initial post - and research efforts you mentioned are related to ENERGY. It doesn't matter if the research or firms are alternative, renewable, algae, green, ethanol, coal, oil, gas, solar, thorium etc. - they are all related to providing and exploring a source of ENERGY.

St. Louis' energy sector happens to be more diverse, which is why I created the list. And it is why I have offered that St. Louis needs to capitalize and market the assets and infrastructure it has.

St. Louis is a player in energy and this has been my position all along.