Bantrel Co.’s 40-Year Legacy is Just the Beginning
When oil was discovered off the shore of Newfoundland in 1979, some of the country’s biggest players took notice. In 1983, five of them established Bantrel Co. to bring Canadian expertise to Hibernia projects, and as small as this fledgling company was, its team of engineers delivered big results. Soon after, Bantrel established a stellar reputation throughout the sector and quickly grew its presence across the country, becoming a respected partner for clients developing oil sands, processing and heavy industrial projects.
Today, Bantrel continues to provide end-to-end engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) solutions for Canada’s most complex projects backed by the two remaining original owners, the global EPC Corporation Bechtel, and Trimac Corporation’s Founder, McCaig Holdings. The Bantrel team has the expertise and experience to provide select pieces of the process or the entire scope of it, from consultation and design to procuring materials and performing construction.
“We do the full range of EPC services, including upstream, midstream and downstream, across the gamut of the energy industry as well as other markets. It could be sustaining capital portfolios right to large greenfield projects and everything in between,” says Paul Gosse, VP Energy and CFO at Bantrel.
Bantrel is there for clients, whether they are working on a smaller project worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or complex major projects worth billions. These relationships are critical, and the team prides itself on maintaining decades-long ties with key energy clients like Cenovus, Imperial Oil, Shell and ATCO all the while building new ones in increasingly diverse areas. While many competitors are based elsewhere and pop in and out of the Canadian market, Bantrel is proudly Canadian and remains focused on and invested in the local market. And after 40 years in business, the company continues to evolve and grow as it helps shape the new energy landscape in Canada and beyond.
“We’ve really taken a purposeful approach in diversifying our markets. We’re still industrial focused but we’ve expanded from that energy footprint into mining – we’re constructing a world-scale potash mine in Saskatchewan right now – and infrastructure, we’re delivering a light rail transit project in Toronto, and of course, remain committed to energy transition,” says Darren Curran, President and CEO of Bantrel.
Energy transition is an exciting growth area for the industry, and Bantrel is building on its experience in hydrogen and ammonia as well as in carbon capture to be an integral part of the greener energy movement toward decarbonization. Many of the company’s markets are linked to these areas, from facilitating electricity- or hydrogen-fueled transportation to upgrading facilities with efficiencies and carbon abatement. Copper and lithium mining will also play a huge role in the energy transition, supported by Bantrel.
Nuclear is another key component of these efforts and Bantrel has supported Bechtel’s team in Waynesboro, Georgia, in building Plant Vogtle, North America’s first advanced nuclear power plant in 30 years. The Bantrel team brought nuclear expertise back to Canada, has achieved nuclear construction quality certification and is ready to help implement clean nuclear power development.
“Growth of our business is focused on carbon reduction, abatement and net zero projects. It’s an exciting time to be in capital projects, and this is what’s driving it,” says Adam MacKay, VP Client Solutions and Nuclear.
And what is driving those projects at Bantrel is the innovation coming out of the creative teams working in various markets. More importantly, the individual teams are sharing how they are doing things better or more efficiently across the organization. These homegrown solutions, which include anything from data integration and automation to intuitive applications and reality capture enhancement, challenge the status quo and often lead to better, safer and more efficient projects with improved stakeholder engagement. They take the time to talk about the successes and discuss how they can apply these innovations elsewhere to build on them organization-wide.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is important for this organization because we don’t grow by acquisition. It’s all organic. There is a freedom and confidence within the organization to do new things, which is necessary for our growth,” says MacKay.
By constantly evolving, Bantrel is able to meet the changing needs of its clients, the industries they work in, the communities where they operate and the world at large. This environment attracts creative professionals and the core management team works hard to maintain that culture so employees spend their whole careers at Bantrel. Its core values are the foundation on which that positive, rewarding environment has been built and they are more than a footnote in an annual report. Core values are regularly discussed, applied and carried around on a card attached to their lanyards to keep them top of mind.
The values start and end with people and relationships, both internally and with clients, partners, stakeholders and the greater community. Bantrel supports communities through food drives, urban tree planting, community clean-ups and fundraising for causes like the Alberta Cancer Society and matching staff donations to charitable causes that are most important to them. Bantrel’s focus on people is woven through the remainder of the core values of safety, ethics, quality, innovation and sustainability as well, and the result is a great environment that produces meaningful, quality work. Bantrel treats staff with respect, provides challenging and rewarding projects and offers them opportunities to work on many different types of projects in many different locations to keep them engaged and part of the Bantrel family.
“We have made a concerted effort to hire people with a propensity toward our core values. Once you’ve brought those people in, they attract other people with the same core values and it snowballs and creates a really amazing environment to work in,” says Ryan Barg, VP Corporate Services and Strategy for Bantrel.
Bantrel’s goal is simple: to be the preferred Canadian integrated EPC company. While it has certainly achieved that on the strength and experience of its 800+ team members, many of whom have been with the company for decades, the company hasn’t let off the throttle. With strong talent and a solid bottom line, the company is well positioned to continue to grow as Bantrel broadens its markets and diversifies further. The team is proud of what they have achieved together over the past 40 years but is more excited about what’s still ahead.
“We have an incredibly strong history and a lot of legacy with respect to the facilities that we’ve designed and built. It’s mind boggling to look back at it,” says Doug Barth, corporate Manager of Engineering and Services.
As Canadian companies grow and explore new markets in energy, mining, infrastructure, nuclear, and construction, Bantrel Co. will be right there beside them just as they have been for the past 40 years.
Business of Energy Magazine