The early years
Entec was founded in 1982, starting off with a shared office and tiny parts store in Auckland’s Manukau City. The raison d’etre for Entec was the New Zealand distributorship for Waukesha Engine.
The Waukesha Engine distributorship was held by a local industrial conglomerate – Motor Specialties Incorporated (known as MSI). The Waukesha product, which was targeted at industrial applications such as power generation and gas compression, was handled by MSI’s divisional manager David Weston.
David is quick to point out that this “division” of MSI consisted of just himself. MSI’s main focus was increasingly the automotive industry. David consequently saw an opportunity to establish his own business and conducted what might grandly be called a management buy-out. Entec Services Ltd was born and moved to a larger office and workshop facility in East Tamaki.
Entec quickly grew from a one-man band to a two-man band and, assisted by a part-time office lady, continued this way through the 1980s.
This was the height of the “Think Big” era with substantial industrial projects being built. Examples were the Synfuels plants and Maui offshore development in Taranaki, and an expansion at the oil refinery at Marsden Point.
Entec acted as a sales agent for some key pieces of equipment in these projects, such as fired heaters and waste heat recovery boilers. The Waukesha engine population grew steadily as more natural gas infrastructure was installed throughout the North Island.
Growth from 1990 to 2010
Gas engine projects typically have long gestation periods, and several slow-burners came along in quick succession in the early 1990s. These included a 1.8 MW cogeneration plant for the Anchor dairy factory at Te Rapa and a pair of landfill gas power stations (total 8.1 MW) in Auckland.
Entec grew rapidly to handle the installation and service support for these projects, with three service engineers being added to the team.
Entec’s physical presence grew too, with new premises in Joval Place and then the corner of Earl Richardson Avenue and Hobill Avenue, back in the industrial heartland of Manukau.
David’s son Bob Weston joined the business in 1996, initially as commercial manager.
The engine population continued to grow slowly but surely, with successful new engine projects in Christchurch, Hamilton and Taranaki.
By the late 1990s there were approximately 40 Waukesha engines operating in the Taranaki oil and gas industry, largely maintained in-house by the operating companies. The population grew further around 2001 with the construction of the new Rimu Production Station for Swift Energy.
This was the catalyst for Entec to establish a permanent presence in the country’s energy province, which started with one service engineer operating out of the back of his service ute. That progressed to his garage, then a larger garage, and then to a small workshop in Stratford.
By 2010 Entec consisted of around 15 employees, with 9 in Auckland and 6 in Taranaki.
Having established a solid business with the Waukesha Engine distributorship, a move to diversify into other disciplines began. In December 2010 Entec purchased a well-established instrumentation, electrical and gas detection business, which doubled the number of employees overnight.
The years 2010 to 2014 were busy with substantial projects being developed in Taranaki, and Entec grew quickly with the increased demand. Another instrumentation & electrical business was purchased in 2013. The headcount within Entec since that time has floated between 50 and 80 people, with a large core of permanent staff complemented by contract and casual specialists to meet demand peaks.
Key leaders within the company are…
- Bob Weston, Managing Director
- Rob Evans, General Manager – Services
- Mark Knowles, General Manager – Projects
- Martin Peyerl, New Business Manager – Projects
- Rob Nixon, Commercial Manager – Projects
- John Langslow, Gas Detection Manager
- Dave Catt, Gas Detection Product Specialist
- Mike Jayne, Technical Manager – Mechanical
Entec consolidated its two Taranaki locations (Stratford and New Plymouth) into a brand-new building in New Plymouth in November 2012. This is located on the main road into town and boosted Entec’s profile considerably in the city.
Entec’s premises at 674 Devon Road, New Plymouth
The company culture has been consistent over all of these years. As a family-owned business with a flat management structure, we aim to stay very focused on recruiting and retaining the very best staff we can find.
We’ve enjoyed a very low staff turnover and have taken great satisfaction in growing strong and mutually-beneficial relationships with many customers over a long time.
We’re also proud of our great relationships with our key suppliers. From the leading international manufacturers we represent, such as GE Waukesha, Ariel Compressor and Industrial Scientific, through to our large family of local trade suppliers, we have built enjoyable and profitable partnerships together.
We are proud of being Entec.