America is investing big in clean energy. This involves building infrastructure to support electric vehicles, charging stations, and solar panels, as well as revamping the electricity grid.
Power to the Poles
That’s right, one thing crucial for electricity infrastructure is utility poles, which are commonly made from particularly tall, straight trees that can readily hold all the equipment needed to power and increasingly electrified world. Most of America’s poles currently from the pineland regions in southern states like Georgia.
Thus, the utility pole business is booming.
Interest has also been growing for concrete, steel, and composite poles as potential alternatives to timber poles.
At the moment, demand for utility poles is outpacing capacity. This has been a boon for America’s two largest pole firms, Pittsburgh’s Koppers (KOP) and Montreal’s Stella-Jones (STLJF). Both companies’ stocks have rallied this past year, gaining more than 45%, and more than 70%, respectively.
But the impact extends beyond corporations. Much of the South’s lumber is sourced from families and individual landowners, and trees suitable to become utility poles will fetch a better price than those headed to the sawmill.
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