After 14 years in operation, LMC Industries (LMC) is building on a record of trusted industrial construction, fabrication and maintenance in New Brunswick and with client support, the company now has the bench strength and experience to extend beyond eastern Canada. “We are a leading industrial construction and fabrication company located in Saint John, N.B., since the early 1980s,” shares Styve Dumouchel, CEO of LMC. “LMC is a mid-sized company that competes with multimillion dollar competitors and we pride ourselves on our commitment to safety, leadership, quality and trust.”
In 1977, Dumouchel’s father and uncle established LMC’s parent company, Lorneville Mechanical Contractors, which established a strong clientele in maintenance service in New Brunswick. “I’ve been in the industry since 1989, where I started as a project manager,” recounts Dumouchel. “After working for another company for several years I came back to join the family business.”
Divide and conquer
But it wasn’t until 2010 that the family-owned operation entered acquisition mode with Dumouchel at the helm. “Originally, we served strictly New Brunswick to Nova Scotia in the industrial sector, offering energy-type maintenance for pulp mills and power generations, recovery boilers and the like,” explains Dumouchel.
In 2011, Master Mechanical, a Saint John-based industrial piping company founded in the early 1990s, joined the Lorneville Mechanical Contractors, followed by XL Air, an Ottawa-headquartered plumbing contractor. “Master Mechanical and XL Air joined Lorneville Mechanical Contractors, the original parent company and I formed LMC to house all three companies,” explains Dumouchel.
“Over the years, we’ve steadily evolved into a full-service industrial contractor covering various industries from oil and gas to mining, power plants and hydroelectric,” continues Dumouchel. As LMC has grown in size and scope, so has the company’s footprint.
“We’re still based in Saint John but we also have an office in Ottawa, Newfoundland and a small, regional office in Quebec,” notes Dumouchel. “Today, we’re running at about 500 employees strong but they’re not all full time. We fire tradesmen on a project-by-project basis.”
“Being New Brunswick-based, we have a strong understanding of the regional workforce, whereas large competitors coming from the outside struggle with finding the right people,” adds Dumouchel.
Since merging all three companies as LMC, Dumouchel says the company has landed projects with big-name players and many large, multinational companies. “We’re working with Vale in Newfoundland, Northern Pulp and Paper in Nova Scotia and the J.D. Irving Group as well as the Irving Oil Refinery and PCS in Sussex,” he notes. “On the commercial side, LMC serves large-scale general contractors such as PCS, Bird Construction, Pomeroy and Ellis-Don.”
LMC works on projects and field construction across a number of major industries, including petrochemical, power generation, pulp and paper, hydro facilities, utilities and maintenance, which has always been the company’s bread and butter. LMC has also extended its scope of specialty services to encompass turbines, heat exchangers, boilers, evaporators, air heaters, rotating equipment, electrostatic precipitators and rigging.
“We’re also highly experienced fabricators,” details Dumouchel. The company’s Saint John facility offers 20,000 square feet of indoor fabrication space with a total installed lifting capacity of 50 tonnes.
Positioning for and projecting growth
Unlike most contractors, LMC is often tasked to deliver projects in remote areas without the convenience of roads or closely situated sites. “In Labrador were working on the New Millennium Mine, but to get there you have to fly in or get there by rail,” reveals Dumouchel.
LMC has also been on-site for Vale INCO for two years on the construction of a nickel processing plant in Long Harbour, Newfoundland near the Voisey Bay deposits. The $3 billion plant will employ nearly 500 people, generating considerable employment for the area. LMC was awarded the contract to install all of the mechanical equipment and piping in two of the buildings on-site. “This is our first job in Newfoundland and with this foray into the province we’re well poised for additional industrial projects in the region,” says Dumouchel.
At home in New Brunswick, the Point Lepreau Nuclear Power Station has been one of LMC’s most noteworthy projects. “We were hired as the main subcontractor for reactor retubing on the massive refurbishment project in southern New Brunswick,” shares Dumouchel. “
This project was led by Carl Tremblay, president of LMC and Fred Bouchard, project manager at LMC. "LMC was proud to provide labour and equipment for re-tubing, supervision and other related services for the mechanical portion of the reactor refurbishment," says Tremblay. "We are one of the first companies in Canada to do this kind of highly technical work. Developing these specialized erection and welding techniques has prepared us for other similar projects in the Northeast and around the world."
The Point Lepreau Generating Station is the first of the world's fleet of CANDU six reactors to undergo a refurbishment. The main activities include the replacement of all 380 fuel channels, calandria tubes and feeder pipes as well as other station maintenance work. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is the main contractor and the original designer of the station. The Point Lepreau Generating Station provides up to 30 percent of New Brunswick's electricity and is one of the lowest cost generators on NB Power's electrical system.
Dumouchel says LMC is also excited about a five year, $80 million tank maintenance contract with Irving Oil. “We’re replacing an incumbent –a large publicly traded U.S. company- and we it’s a good sign that there was the confidence to award us this project,” he explains. “It will be a good marketing tool for us down the line, adding to our internal bench strength.”
As LMC gains more ground and lands larger projects, Dumouchel says the company has the long history of service work and support of New Brunswick-based owner-clients to thank for the success. “Without this strong industrial base we wouldn’t have the bench strength to reach out of our normal area,” he says. “The base of our maintenance work is still centered in New Brunswick, but our project work is going national.”
“The biggest obstacle we face is finding the right projects that fit our skill set that we can bid on and be competitive in,” adds Dumouchel. “We’re also working on a succession strategy for our key project managers because it’s one thing to get the job, but another to perform it with the right people.”
Dumouchel says the company is starting to gain a foothold outside of New Brunswick with its sights set on expansion into central and western Canada, but LMC Industries holds fast to the core values of safety, leadership, quality and trust that have brought it this far.