Neumetal builds four electrical substations
By Scott Bellile
New London will have a powerful presence in Kansas City, Missouri.
That power is in the form of four electrical substations manufactured this year by New London metal fabrication company Neumetal Corporation. The substations will serve the two-mile KC Downtown Streetcar starter line in Kansas City that will launch next year.
The substations are worth about $1 million each, according to Donna Mandelbaum, communications manager for KC Streetcar Authority.
About seven months of work went into the four 30-ton structures. The last one was shipped out of New London on Friday, Oct. 2, and will be installed this week.
“This was quite an undertaking,” Neumetal office manager Angela Neumann said. “To me it was just amazing that it all filtered through [New London].”
Each substation is 30 feet long by 14 feet wide by 12 feet high and will convert AC power to the DC power a streetcar needs, according to Mike Bettcher, vice president of operations for Neumetal’s parent company, Powergrid Solutions Inc.
“It’s been great business for us,” Bettcher said. “We’ve been fortunate to be involved in the light rail industry. There’s a lot of the infrastructure not only in the United States but also in Canada that is being refurbished or added on to.”
Angela and her husband Eric sold Neumetal to Oshkosh switchgear manufacturer Powergrid Solutions Inc. on March 13. Neumetal grew from 31 to 38 employees this year and continues to hire as the company takes on larger projects with higher brand recognition, Angela said.
“It’s just been very good for us for sure,” Neumann said.
Eric’s father, Gary Neumann, started the business in 1996 with Eric joining him about six months later. In 2008, Eric and wife Angela bought Gary out completely and expanded the facility.