Full Steam Ahead for Victory Energy

Victory Energy Operations LLC is rapidly expanding to keep up with the booming ethanol sector.
The Collinsville-based manufacturer is in the process of nearly doubling its space to 112,000 SF while growing the number of employees 86 percent from 215 to 400 by this fall.
Victory’s budget, which soared more than 200 percent from 2005 to ‘06 — is forecast to expand another 40 percent this year, said Lee West, sales and marketing manager.
Victory primarily manufactures firetube and watertube boilers, is investing in another 50,000-SF facility at its headquarters at 101701 E. 126th St. to accommodate the growing work force. Currently, Victory employs 215 and is experiencing growing pains at its Collinsville and its Cushing offices, where the company makes steamtube dryers.
Founded in 1999 by owner and president John Viscup, Victory has become a leading supplier of steam generating equipment and services.
“Just about anything that requires power equipment,” West said. Victory’s products are sold to hospitals, universities, paper mills and wherever steam equipment is needed.
Victory has representatives in all 50 states and Canada.
The growth is in response to customer demand in the ethanol industry, West said. The company was able to get its foot in the door on the ground floor.
“Ethanol has been the driving force,” West said. “Ethanol is booming. As that industry has grown, so demand for our products has grown likewise.”
In the U.S., work is under way to add more than 2 billion gallons to the annual capacity of the ethanol sector, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
A flurry of construction activity has been ongoing for the last three years as ground was broken on dozens of new plants throughout the U.S. Corn Belt.
Government mandates have fueled the growth in the industry. Cash from government subsidies entered the pipeline, feeding the building boom in ethanol plant construction.
“The amount of money coming in has transformed the industry from a farming base to an investment base,” West said. “A lot of players are getting involved.”
A year ago, the annual capacity of the U.S. ethanol sector stood at 4.4 billion gallons. Plants under construction or expansion have added another 2.1 billion gallons to that number.
Viscup, after working in the steam heat exchange sector for a number of years, struck out on his own eight years ago. Building strong relationships within the industry while attracting experienced and quality engineers has been the key to his success.
“And, he is a real go-getter,” West said.
“Ethanol is agriculturally based — farmers. So, when one person or company is doing well, they tend to stay with them,” West said.
Word-of-mouth boosted customer loyalty.
“We are known to be one of the suppliers for the industry. They are buying, so we are selling,” West said.
The Tulsa area is “perfect” for companies like Victory, West said, because “the supplies and materials we need are all here.”
“Tulsa is still the heat exchange capitol of the world,” he said. ?

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