A pipeline to growth
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--Privately held security integrator Amata announced in early June a $152 million contract with Pacific Texas Pipeline and Transportation Company to install and service a security system to protect 900 miles of pipeline stretching from El Paso, Texas, to Phoenix, and from Phoenix, to Las Vegas. The contract's value reflects two years of installation work, and the company is in line for another contract that would represent a 10-year maintenance agreement.
Amata president Shawn Wurtsmith understands if you haven't heard of his company. "We're a small company that's growing rapidly," he said. "We've been flying under the radar for a long time in the security world. We do a lot of work for large companies like Siemens and Johnson Controls, and that's how we've stayed quiet."
Founded in 2003, Amata began with a focus on the DHS and DoD, but has grown to protect critical infrastructure of many types: nuclear power plants, ports and harbors and petrochemical facilities, for example.
The company has 42 employees and the Pacific Texas deal easily represents its largest-ever contract. "It'll definitely affect the landscape of Amata in terms of what we look like," said Wurtsmith, "but the ultimate goal has always been the ability to move quickly and cater to our clients' needs. We'll have to hire some employees to do this work, and we'll bring in some partners that we have strategic alliances with. It's going to enable us to continue to go after large contracts like this while keeping the small-company feel."
With fellow owner Robert Cheney, Wurtsmith is looking to capitalize on expertise in the oil and gas industry. "It's a little bit different than doing the office building downtown," he said. "You're out in the middle of nowhere and the power and infrastructure needed is pretty extensive. I think we can see that with what happened at JFK [in May] it's a high priority. We see two hot sectors going forward: Energy is always going to be hot, and security is hot as well, and we've found a way to combine the two and service both markets."