Skoda Contracting Company was founded as a pipeline welding company and over the following decade expanded into all aspects of the utility construction industry. Skoda has worked for PSE&G and Elizabethtown Gas Company (Atlanta Gas Light, Southern Company, South Jersey Industries) since the 1960s and has maintained a blanket contract from 1968 to the present.
The 1970’s were a volatile period in the gas industry with limited expansion. Although we worked on contracts at both PSE&G and Elizabethtown Gas, our growth was in site work, paving and structural concrete; building tank farms for the chemical industry in Newark, New Jersey.
In the 1980s Skoda did the unthinkable, offering utilities a 10% discount for work provided in the winter months. Naturally, frost, snow and subzero temperatures caused financial losses. The goal was to build a year-round, dedicated, experienced workforce. Today, that workforce is still here overseeing their company with 30+ years of experience.
In the 1990s Skoda began working in the industrial/pharmaceutical sectors. Of great significance was our experience at Merck. We were part of the “Safest Worksite in the World,” which prepared for the way the National Gas Utility Industry is run today. Safety programs from the 90s such as “Safety Pays” and monthly safety awards are still ongoing.
ETG was acquired by Atlanta Gas Light in 2004 and since then the role of the contractor has changed dramatically. Examples of these role changes include: the contractor owning and maintaining all gas inventory, creating and inputting all new ETG records, service cards, valve cards, internal and external corrosion reports, integration into ETG’s WMIS program for record keeping, installing meters, conducting customer safety checks and appliance relights, and a variety of other work not previously performed by the contractor. Skoda has met each of these new challenges successfully and moreover was recognized as AGL’s Contractor of the Year three consecutive years following the takeover, winning the Golden Meter Award.
In 2006, Skoda headed south to serve Elkton Gas in Maryland. We continue to be their sole source utility contractor engaged in new business and renewal projects; joint ventures; HDD (directional drilling); corrosion; system maintenance and welding services.
In 2011, Skoda was asked to be part of UGI’s team, so we headed west. We began work on renewal projects using HDD and techniques that were new to the region. Our success brought new opportunities and we found a niche as their conversion service contractor. Today we provide a complete range of services including but not limited to: new and renewal main and service installation, encapsulation, restoration and directional drilling.
Our first contract with Washington Gas Light was awarded in 2011 to our minority affiliate Atlantic Infrastructure. There we provided CCTV post construction camera inspection with our Lateral Launch camera system in search of cross bores.
Most recently, in 2014, Skoda was asked to expand to the Washington DC Metro/Metro area where we now service Washington Gas Light (WGL). Our Washington division currently provides the following services: service replacements, Grade II Leak repair (under supplied air), key hole and soft-dig corrosion control services, service and stub abandonments, temporary disconnects, valve cut-ins, service violation relocates and offsets, and AC mitigation services among other things.
Our safety record is impeccable as demonstrated by our current Worker’s Compensation experience mod of 0.690, which affords us generous loss control refunds annually. Skoda’s philosophy on safety can be found in our Safety Manual. As Skoda has grown, we have found it necessary to formalize many of the procedures that have helped assure excellence in the past. This has led to the development of our rapidly expanding Compliance, Safety and Education (CSE) Department. Skoda has hired industry veteran Bruce Garret, as our CSE Director. Bruce brings 43 years of gas industry experience to Skoda and has been fundamental in growing our safety department. The department provides the necessary training, education, and support to ensure our Quality Assurance standards are met. Some of its responsibilities include daily job site reports, Drug and Alcohol testing, Operator Qualification (OQ) education and testing, and Annual Trench Inspection reports. We are extremely proud of our CSE Team and plan to continue growing the group.