Marine Contractors Inc.: Building Infrastructure and Opportunities for Atlantic Canada

For over two decades Marine Contractors Inc. has been providing western Newfoundland with just about every kind of heavy and civil construction service possible, literally paving the way for progress. The company is co-owned by Glynn Pike and his partner Daryl Bennett. “We have come along way since starting the company in 1989. We established a strong reputation by executing our projects on time and within budget, all while adhering to quality control measures,” says Pike.

The firm, based in Pasadena, Newfoundland, has grown to be a substantial employer in the province. “We have more than 200 employees right now,” says Bennett, who oversees project and office management. As the years progressed the company diversified its operations and has become one of the bigger construction companies in the region.

“What sets us apart is our strength to complete most projects in-house,” says Bennett. “We have increased our capabilities and necessary infrastructure for all kinds of developments, including water and sewer, dredging and wharf construction, site development, excavation, road building, aggregate work, concrete and paving. After 2000 we built a hydrocarbon soil remediation facility and diverted into commercial building acquisitions.”

Pike adds, “We have to attribute our growth to building good relationships with other businesses. We have to give credit and thank the banks that stood behind us, plus the suppliers and fuel companies that were there on a weekend where you needed a bolt, service or extra fuel. We also had the municipal and provincial government engineers and subcontractors that worked with us. One piece of advice to individuals with upcoming companies is to learn how to negotiate. Negotiating is no doubt an art, whether you are looking for credit, purchasing equipment or working with people. All we have to do is glance back through all our equipment purchases with John Deere and Toromont CAT and say we have built an excellent relationship with them both.”

Changing the Face of Newfoundland

Over the years, Marine Contractors has been awarded contracts that have been crucial to the development of Newfoundland. One of the company’s initial contracts entailed working on the Marble Mountain Ski Resort. “We did a lot of site work for the ski runs and assisted in the installation of the towers for the lifts and snow-making equipment,” says Pike, citing one example. “It was definitely one of the more challenging projects we have had over the years.”

In 2005 the company stepped up to assist the province when the Town of Stephenville experienced major flooding directly in the community. “We had the equipment and the manpower to move quickly. Within an hour we were on site reinforcing bridges and brooks that were overflowing and repaired roads and bridges that were washed out.”

More recently, Marine Contractors was also contracted to work on a major development for the province, which is aimed at increasing tourism to the area. The company completed a lot of work at the Deer Lake Airport in 2009. The airport runway was ultimately expanded from 6,000 feet to 8,000 feet, enabling it to handle larger aircrafts and, hopefully, attract more flights.

Growing for the Future Today

Even with impressive projects, Marine Contractors hasn't been immune to the unstable global economy. However, the company's wide range of services has kept it busy, and the firm is increasing its scope of operations and gearing up to facilitate growth in anticipation of a stronger economy on the way.

“We’re in the process of moving into a new facility in Corner Brook, because we’re just running out of space,” says Bennett. The new location at Watson’s Pond Industrial Park will provide the firm with enough space for both offices and a mechanical shop. The move will allow the firm more room to grow and it will provide a central location close to many nearby projects and suppliers.

Aside from the move, the firm will continue to focus on developing its areas of expertise and doing its best to stay competitive. According to Pike, “We do our best to invest in technology and training our staff to make our workforce more efficient. We’re one of a few companies who run a wide range of heavy equipment off of GPS and satellite controls, which has helped a lot. Right now, the paving company is doing more recycling of asphalt. Steady growth and the environment are a priority, but even more important is that we are trying to be more cost-effective for the client.”

Investing in technology and reinforcing its experienced workforce, Marine Contractors Inc. maintains the capabilities to continue strengthening the infrastructure of Newfoundland for decades to come.