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ECO-Technica Inc.: Delivering Industrious Engineering and Project Solutions
ECO-Technica Inc. (ECO) is a multidiscipline engineering and project services firm offering a wide variety of design and build services from its headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta. The business was founded in 2000 by a group of like-minded, innovative friends, and continues similarly today with partners Denis Wiart, Ian Park, Chris Coburn and Michael Dudey.
Denis Wiart leads the ECO team, as he began his career nearly two decades earlier; however, working as an engineer in the Air Force. “After my service term, I joined a pressure equipment firm, followed by an engineering consulting firm,” he explains. “The firms were both eventually bought out so we decided to start fresh.” Today he is still an owner of ECO and serves as company president and general manager.
Initially, the ECO team focused on site engineering and technical support services for cogen and environmental projects. As the business has grown physically, ECO has become a one-stop shop for its clients’ capital and maintenance projects, providing turnkey solutions for industrial implementations. The staff of around 160 thrives in Alberta’s small to midsize projects. The business’ key knowledge areas include utilities (steam, water, chemicals, gases, fuels, etc.) power generation and environmental industry sectors. “What makes us stand out is that we’re a full-service, approachable company, while other companies of our size would need to subcontract out key portions of project implementation, increasing effort and risk to the owner,” emphasizes Wiart.
Wiart and his team, which includes sister companies Oncore Services Inc. and ECO Inspections offer a wealth of project services, beginning with preliminary engineering, detailed engineering, construction, as well as on-site inspections and commissioning. Often these projects are completed during shutdowns so schedules are critical. As project integrators, ECO uses latest 3D design to help all team members visualize and understand the project. These tools have been used on the company’s latest projects, including a fully automated chemical injection skid, potable water treatment plant modules and a recycled wastewater skid building. They also are very useful during constructability reviews, lifting and rigging studies, specialty component fabrication coordination, and walking the project all the way through to start-up.
Led by the core value of integrity, ECO’s focus is on repeat business in high-quality, industrial construction. The company continues to take steps to market the business and expand services, promoting vertical and horizontal growth for ECO. “Our main office is in Edmonton, and we have two secondary offices and fabrication shops,” explains Wiart. “We work all over western and northwestern Canada.” The company has several ongoing initiatives to streamline performance and offer more to clients. “We recently entered a booth at the Oil & Gas trade show in Calgary to showcase our services to this industry,” reveals Wiart. “We’ve also doubled the size of our fabrication shop. We have site office facilities in Fort Saskatchewan, Fort McMurray, and just opened a new office in Vancouver.”
Growth comes with expense, but ECO has established stability as well as a reputation for a flexible, highly trained, safety-minded staff augmented by the company’s facility capabilities. The investments are paying off, as the team continues to broaden its geographic footprint. To help with managing the growth, ECO has also recently invited its senior management team into the ownership group and the company is proud that all took up the offer.
Specialty Projects and Services
ECO weathered the recent recession well and the team is positioned to continue making waves around the region. The business recently completed a project constructing four modular, mobile potable-water systems for various communities in the Northwest Territories. The team also recently completed the construction of two pilot plants in Alberta, including a hemp fibre research plant and a plant that converts waste plastics to methanol, turning waste into energy. “Our clients often come to us with a new process that they would like built,” says Wiart. “We work with their process team to make the idea a reality.”
Wiart noted that because of ECO’s experience in the industry, the company’s connections run deep. “One of our specialty services includes teaming up with local innovation centres like Alberta Innovates [AI],” he notes. AI specializes in developing new processes and systems to solve unique Alberta challenges. ECO’s working relationship with AI has helped to open up new avenues on environmental projects, while helping the industry to meet higher environmental standards through improved monitoring. ECO provide similar support roles for CFER Technologies and the Edmonton Waste Management Centre for their projects.
ECO works consistently with several strategic partners to move operations along smoothly. “We subcontract out services like paneling, insulation and painting,” notes Wiart. “We also have third-party inspectors that perform independent inspections for our projects. With our suppliers and subcontractors, we continually use specific companies. We build relationships. That’s very important to us.”
With so much going on, Wiart is looking forward to the future of the business. “We’re feeling very positive,” he says. “Brownfield engineering projects [projects on existing industrial sites] are hitting well. We have a lot of small projects and a diverse client list to keep things going. Our clients have many demands on their limited time, so managing their small projects, start to finish, is a natural fit for us.” He foresees steady growth, with a rate of around 20 percent over the next three years established as the company target. Further greenfield projects and geographic expansion are not out of the question, either.
As the business grows, the ECO team continues to deliver the company’s prime directive of designing with assurance and delivering project confidence start to finish. ECO balances industry standards, client project requirements and efficiency, while never compromising safety or the environment, and these traits have brought the company continued success in every arena it enters. From start to finish, ECO-Technica Inc. provides uncommon solutions to growing environmental and infrastructural needs.