‘Billion-dollar’ opportunity for US demolition

By KHL Staff02 March 2022

The project and business development manager of a US demolition contractor says it is the industry’s responsibility to ‘do it right’ after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement that over 20 power plants must close in the next 10 years.

Scott Laird, of Colorado-based Independence Excavating, said his company has remained busy despite the worst of Covid-19, with a record year for its demolition business.

Scott Laird Scott Laird said the demolition division of his company enjoyed record profits in 2021. (Photo: Scott Laird)

And he believes the decision on power plants could be worth ‘a couple of billion dollars’ to the country’s demolition sector.

“Since we were deemed essential workers in the spring of 2020, we haven’t really missed a beat,” said Scott.

“At Independence, we work in 31 states and last year we had our busiest year ever.

“We had our most profitable year ever in our demolition division.

Looking to the future Scott added: “I think the economy has stabilised – as long as we have no more Covid spikes. We’re seeing pricing stabilise for the most part, and we’re all being very competitive. Nobody’s really cutting throats to get the jobs anymore because there is a lot of work out there.

“In power plants alone, you are going to see a couple of billion dollars’ worth of work for the demolition industry. It’s upon us to do it, do it right and be safe.”

Scott was speaking to D&Ri at this week’s US National Demolition Association (NDA) Convention and Expo in San Diego, California, which has attracted a bigger attendance than the last pre-Covid edition two years ago.

He is the NDA ‘s convention chair and said: “We just did a lot of things right. We reached out very early and started our planning very early for this convention after the unfortunate cancellation of the New Orleans event due to Covid.

“We beat all of our expectations. For example, we had 661 people come out for the live demo equipment event. That’s the largest attendance we’ve ever had for a live demo event, which makes me extremely proud and extremely happy.”

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