PORTLAND – Pittsfield-based industrial construction company Cianbro Corp. announced Friday it has acquired an Illinois-based firm for an undisclosed sum.

Starcon International Inc., which provides industrial and mechanical contracting services to about 40 refineries and petrochemical plants, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cianbro.

Starcon will continue to operate independently, with the company’s leadership, including CEO Dale Kuntz, reporting to Cianbro president and CEO Peter Vigue.

Vigue said the acquisition will help Cianbro, which has traditionally done most of its business along the East Coast, expand its geographic reach.

“This will improve our footprint by 25 states, and we will work with all major players in the petrochemical and refining industry,” he said.

The move will create additional jobs in Maine, Vigue said, though he declined to say how many.

Cianbro’s business relationship with Starcon started last year, when the companies shared resources as part of a marketing partnership. Vigue said he was impressed by the strength of Starcon’s brand and the compatibility of both companies’ cultures and values.

With the acquisition, Vigue said Cianbro will be able to expand its steel fabrication and heavy equipment businesses.

The move will also mean additional work for Cianbro’s manufacturing facility in Brewer, where the company makes industrial modules — heavy refinery equipment that is shipped by barge to refineries.

Vigue said the high-tech modules will be in demand in coming years because refineries are often located in regions that lack skilled workers. It is more efficient for refineries to order modules than to build the equipment on site.

Cianbro employs about 2,500 people, including roughly 1,300 in Maine. Starcon has some 1,500 employees and large operations along the Gulf Coast, in the Midwest and in California.


Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: [email protected]