Starting in 1967, NPL has been providing safe, high quality services since day one.
NPL is founded as Northern Gas Line Constructors by Noel T. Coon in Gonvick, MN
With an unwavering commitment to taking care of customers, founder Noel Coon started NPL with a grand vision of his own fleet of red trucks. He was sure he could offer better customer service than the contractors he had worked for, and was committed to improve safety and quality. NPL got its first customer in 1967, North Star Natural Gas. 50 years later, NPL still serves this customer, now known as Minnesota Energy Resources.
NPL completes first million-dollar job for Inter-City Gas Company
Northern Natural Gas awards NPL its first out-of-region job in Kansas, 20 miles of 8” pipeline. Later, main line contract work for Northern Natural Gas spanned Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.
NPL, then Northern Pipeline Construction Co., moves to Bemidji, MN
NPL moves to Bemidji, Minnesota. By 1973, NPL had blanket contracts for Northern States Power in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The Bemidji location gave NPL better access to an airport and a wider employee pool. Thinking ahead, the goal was to provide services in four main areas, gas distribution, cross country pipeline, telephone/power cable, and water/sewer.
NPL awarded its first blanket gas contract in Arizona for new residential construction
NPL was given a contracting opportunity through a former employee for TV cable boring work in Arizona. In addition to the new work in the Southwest, NPL won a large contract for the replacement of 27,000 service lines for Minnegasco in Minnesota. This pushed NPL’s revenue from $10 million to $22 million.
NPL moves to Phoenix, AZ
In the Southwest, business was growing. NPL crews were doing bore work for TV cable and entered the San Francisco market with a large-scale service line replacement project for Pacific Gas and Electric. With a core strategy of working together, east and west operations developed a system of accountability for reaching a goal of $50 million in business over the next few years. That goal was reached in half the time, and as a result, this success changed how many people looked at the company, and it rekindled internal confidence in NPL’s culture of growth.
NPL establishes operations on the East Coast
With a renewed drive for growth across the organization, NPL expanded into eight operational areas: Phoenix, Tucson, Illinois, Heartland/Kansas City, Wichita, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Union/St. Louis. A strong core group of customers included Arizona Public Services, Citizens Utilities, Southwest Gas, Northern Illinois Gas, KPL Gas Services, Minnegasco, Northern States Power, and PG&E. The company was rock solid and primed to make a move toward industry leadership.
NPL is acquired by Southwest Gas
New ownership would provide the opportunity to evolve the management structure and infuse the company with capital. In 1996, the decision was made to sell to its biggest customer—Southwest Gas. At the time, Southwest Gas accounted for 40% of NPL’s $117 million revenue. This decision was made not because they had the highest offer, but because NPL’s identity and culture would be preserved
National Barricade Co. starts up in Phoenix, AZ
With all of the work out west, NPL starts National Barricade Company, or NBC, to help with traffic control. NBC built a solid reputation offering safety-first traffic control services for construction sites, public utility projects, and special events. Certified flaggers and seasoned crew leaders would oversee operations, safety, and efficiencies in traffic flow and control.
NPL experiences record growth to $600 million with
operations coast to coast
After a few slow years in the early 2000s, replacement work increased, strengthening partnerships and growing organically in areas where it was already established. In 2011, NPL grew by 50 percent, increasing from $300 million in 2010 to $500 million. And in 2012, NPL grew another 25 percent to $600 million.
NPL establishes Centuri Construction Group, Inc. as a holding company. NPL becomes one of the largest gas distribution contractors in North America with the acquisition Link-Line, now NPL Canada
NPL’s growth crossed international borders with its acquisition of the Canadian Link-Line Group of Companies in 2014. Link-Line’s U.S. operation, Brigadier Pipelines, specialized in midstream pipeline with operations in Pennsylvania. With the addition of Link-Line, who renamed themselves NPL Canada in 2015, NPL became one of the largest natural gas distribution contractors in all of North America.
In order to build on its enormous success with replacement work and to continue growth in new markets, NPL would evolve its structure, dedicated exclusively to developing business opportunities like the NPL Canada acquisition. In 2014, NPL announced the establishment of its holding company, Centuri Construction Group, Inc.
Centuri, with NPL as its largest subsidiary, was the platform for diversified growth (geographically, as well as market type). With Centuri providing key services and resources, NPL now had opportunity to leverage a vast economy of scale and diversity from an entire family of companies reaching beyond gas distribution.
New NPL branding debuts
With continued growth and diversification, NPL updated their logo with a new look that’s fitting for an industry leader with a vision for the future.
The new, modern logo features an orange and yellow triangle to incorporate the foundational ideas of Safety and Quality.
NPL celebrates 50th Anniversary
In its 50 years, NPL successfully navigated and thrived in a changing industry with determination for continuous improvement, raised the bar for safety and quality, as well as driven innovation and the implementation of new technologies. Nearly 5,000 employees operating in over 20 states, and yearly work hours approaching 10 million, NPL installs about 9.8 million feet of new and replacement pipe. Though best-known for gas distribution, NPL’s list of services grows to include electric, solar, traffic control, wet utilities, concrete and civil work. Its award-winning vehicle and equipment fleet valued around $350 million is one of the most modern in the industry. With the combined dedication of its employees and strategic planning of its leadership, NPL’s revenue grows to $850 million.
Company-wide record safety performance
With a 50-year commitment to Safety and Quality, NPL celebrates an outstanding record of safety throughout the company, exceeding national safety standards.