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A Puerto Rican success story

Chemineer Engineering Corp. owner turned initial capital investment of $5,000 into a $4-million-a-year business


February 22, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

For Pedro Quiñones–a licensed professional engineer with a chemical and mechanical engineering specialization–his company, Chemineer Engineering Corp., is a true Puerto Rican success story.

Chemineer Engineering Corp. is a chemical engineering company that services the construction and industrial cleaning industries, mainly as an industrial, commercial, mechanical, and chemical contractor.

The Toa Baja-based company was incorporated in September 1995, but did not start operations until May 14, 1997–with an initial capital investment of just $5,000.

"Three months later, the Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico granted the company a $100,000 line of credit, using as main collateral the bank’s trust and faith in my professional capacity and commitment," said Quiñones.

Today, the company has surpassed the $4 million annual sales volume mark. Not too bad for a company that’s been in business less than three years.

"Chemineer was created with very limited funding, and since the beginning the company benefited from the use of government initiatives," said Quiñones. "Its success should be an incentive to other professionals who want to develop their own business."

Quiñones bases his company’s success on giving his personal attention to every project, and always providing a high level of service to his clients.

Before the existence of Chemineer, there was just one company that provided the same type of services on the island, but did not satisfy the needs of the industry, especially the pharmaceuticals, Quiñones explained.

"The pharmaceutical industry has benefited from our services, since we are the island’s only professional alternative for chemical cleaning and passivation," said Quiñones, who is also a certified boiler and pressure vessels inspector.

The scope of chemical engineering and environmental services provided by Chemineer includes chemical (acid and alkaline) cleanings, passivations–which are procedures designed to remove deposits and scales from equipment using aggressive chemicals–emergency response/spill containment, hydroblasting, asbestos and lead abatement, boilers and pressure vessels inspection, as well as mechanical and general contracting jobs.

Equipment where chemical cleanings and passivations are applied include boilers, heat exchangers, glass-lined reactors, process equipment, storage tanks, piping, cooling towers, and water treatment tanks.

"In the area of industrial construction, the company’s scope of services includes the installation of clean rooms, process equipment, welding works, piping, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems, in addition to remodeling and civil construction," added Quiñones, who is originally from San Sebastian.

The company’s clients include Abbot Laboratories, Caribbean Petroleum, Cerveceria India, Cyanamid Agricultural, Esso Standard Oil, G.E. Fabrication, Lilly del Caribe, Merck, Sharp & Dohme, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacia & Upjohn, and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, among others.

This year the company started a new concept that guarantees the effectiveness of the procedures used in chemical cleanings.

"The concept is called Boilers and Equipment Protection System Quality Assurance Program and it uses chemical engineering and project management methods to provide services in a structured way," Quiñones indicated.

Company technicians are licensed chemical and mechanical engineers, and certified boilers and pressure vessels inspectors. Quiñones emphasizes employee training to assure projects are done correctly, following all local and federal regulations.

"Skilled technicians with the required training handle specialized equipment to perform the work, always complying with all labor and environmental regulations," stated Quiñones.

Chemineer is a member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, the Associated General Contractors of America, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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