Saskarc Industries Inc.

Bridging the gap from shop to site in western Canada and beyond
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Sean O'Reilly

When it comes to some of the largest industrial projects in support of major industries in western Canada and the northern U.S., Saskarc Industries Inc. (Saskarc) is the turnkey professional metal fabrication and equipment solution. Based in Oxbow, Saskatchewan, in the province’s southeast corner, Saskarc is highly efficient in managing contracts and coordinating numerous scopes not offered by most fabrication companies.

With a 52,000-square-foot custom fabrication shop, Saskarc bridges the gap from shop to site with the ability and space to take much of the work off-site, performing fabrication, modularization and industrial finishing of carbon and stainless steel in a controlled environment. In turn, this minimizes contracts, risk and allows clients to focus on what they do best, be it mining, petrochemical, power generation or any number of specialties.

Small-scale fabrication to all-in-one oversized modules

Saskarc has come a long way from the days of fabricating custom agricultural equipment pieces in the founder’s backyard. “Saskarc formed in 1991 doing area farm repairs and small-scale oil field projects,” recounts Saskarc’s director of sales and marketing (DSM). “We quickly grew, expanding into mining petrochemical and power generation markets, including coal-fired power stations.”

“Through the 1990s and early 2000s, Saskarc served U.S. markets, but more recently, with all of the work and serious labor shortage here, we’ve re-concentrated on western Canada,” continues Saskarc’s DSM. “Traditionally, Saskarc fabricated shippable loads and smaller projects, but over the years we’ve changed our forte, taking work out of costly remote locations and doing more in-house.”

Saskarc has shifted gears throughout its history by moving into several new facilities to increase production space and cater to the needs of clients in mining, power generation and petrochemical.

“When we moved into the new Oxbow location this allowed for more work indoors,” explains Saskarc’s DSM. “With large overhead doors and indoor cranes Saskarc can deliver oversized modules and then ship the product for final assembly and finishing touches outside.”

Adding more production space has fueled near double-digit growth for Saskarc over the last few years. “What’s so attractive is the fact that we offer a single source that really drives value for our clients,” measures the company’s DSM. “Instead of going to individual steel, electrical, HVAC, piping, painting and insulation companies, we can facilitate all of that in-house in addition to custom fabrication.”

Saskarc has developed a list of trusted subcontractors that come in and complete scopes, as necessary, at its own location. “This way not only allows us to monitor quality and the schedule, it also offers one purchase order for our customers, freeing up their resources for other work that is in their wheelhouse,” the DSM continues.

Ramping up in Leduc

More in-house service equals more manpower and Saskarc has grown from 50 employees to nearly 100 over the last several years. The company’s headquarters remain in Oxbow, but Saskarc has recently launched a second location in Leduc, Alberta, just outside of Edmonton.

“We’ve seen 50 percent of our work going on in the Alberta market, where many of our major clients have operations, so it just makes sense to open another location here,” details the DSM.

In Oxbow, Saskarc has two modern state-of-the-art fabrication facilities with substantial floor and office space, including a 52,000-square-foot fabrication shop. The shop houses five large overhead cranes, a blasting and painting facility, as well as 14 acres of assembly and staging area. This site gives Saskarc the capacity to provide modular fabrication for clients in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Additionally, in Leduc, Alberta, Saskarc has a brand new building on 4 acres of property built for the expansion. “This location has just come online and we are rapidly ramping up shipments out of the new location,” Saskarc’s DSM continues.

Saskarc performs fabrication, modularization and industrial finishing of carbon and stainless steel plate work, including panels, pump boxes, casing, hoppers, ducting, bins, chimney liners and stacks; also structural steel pipe rack modules, utility modules, conveyors, support steel, skids and monorails. The company also delivers access steel ladders, stairs, platforms, walkways and catwalks.

Well-equipped for the field

In addition to a complete range of custom fabrication for nearly any large industrial scope of work, Saskarc has recently added an equipment group focusing solely on selling and renting site equipment. Lighting towers, generators, pumps, heaters and more, Saskarc Equipment has a sizable fleet of over 500 pieces of specialized site equipment, ready to meet large project demands rapidly.

“About three years ago, we saw an opportunity to and need for more site equipment, such as light towers, generators, heaters and pumps; Saskarc Equipment was the answer and the division has grown rapidly ever since,” reveals the DSM.

A trusted supplier, Saskarc Equipment rents and sells air compressors, fuel and transport storage tanks, generators, heaters, lighting towers, pumps and safe access systems, all in an effort to be a unified source for site needs. Saskarc Equipment offers flexible purchasing options, including leasing, renting, buy-outs and standard purchases.

Heavy weights

While field work is a necessity on any industrial job, Saskarc offers the advantage of a controlled environment for precise, expert fabrication of modules and components critical to the success of the job. Given its reputation, capacity and proximity to the project, Saskarc was appointed to supply a number of large pieces of equipment for SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Store Demonstration Plant, a $1.24 billion partnership between the provincial government, the Government of Canada and SaskPower.

The project involves the complete rebuilding of a coal-fired generation unit equipped with a fully integrated carbon capture unit. The completed plant will provide a low-emission source of electricity, while also capturing and storing CO2 for reuse in oil extraction.

“This is the first project of this kind in the world,” tells the DSM. “People have come from all over the world to see how it works and operates.”

Another mammoth in size and scope is the Fort McMurray project for Syncrude Canada Limited’s Mildred Lake Mine Replacement (MLMR). Saskarc was hired by Fluor Canada Limited to supply four large pump boxes completely assembled with wear plates installed. Shipping each pump box is a job in itself, with each at 38 feet long by 20 feet wide, standing 18 feet high and weighing 240,000 pounds.

“We’ve also been working for the K+S Potash Bethune Legacy Mine in Saskatchewan, as well as Potash Corp Canada,” tells the DSM. “For Potash Corp we delivered a head-frame project, modularizing the work off-site through the cold winter months all in our controlled shop environment. The scope included nine modules at approximately 33 feet high and more than 30 feet wide.”

Projecting more double digit growth for the future

As Saskarc continues to expand in its size and strengths as a full-service custom fabricator and equipment provider, the DSM details the company anticipates more rapid growth.

“At the end of the day it’s all about trying to drive more value to our customers – whether it’s through modularization, steel painting, electric or HVAC service, we help facilitate more aspects than most fabricators and that continues to set us apart,” he compares.

One purchase order and one single source for field solutions; that’s the goal. Saskarc Industries Inc. continues to bridge the gap in shop to site custom steel fabrication and equipment backed by a foundation of integrity and trusted professionals.

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