Case Studies

Matrix NAC

Delivering trusted union construction services to North America's power, energy and industrial markets

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with regional operating offices throughout the northeastern United States, eastern Canada and the West Coast, Matrix North American Construction (Matrix NAC) builds and maintains critical infrastructure across the power, energy and industrial markets.

As the direct-hire union division of Matrix Service Company (Nasdaq: MTRX), Matrix NAC deploys nearly 3,000 union craftspeople annually and employs more than 400 full-time employees.

Exponential growth, extensive expertise

Founded in 1984 to provide regional storage tank repair and maintenance services, Matrix Service Company opened its first union office in Michigan in 1985. In the years since, the company has experienced diversification and growth that consistently positions it among the top contractors in the country.

Ranked number 43 in Engineering News Record’s annual Top 400 Contractors, on a consolidated basis, the company achieved record growth, topping $1.26 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2014 and $1.3 billion in fiscal year-to-date backlog at March 31, 2015. The company also has been recognized as one of Forbes 100 Most Trustworthy Companies and one of Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies.

“Much of the company’s growth is a result of deepening relationships with new and existing clients, many of whom have awarded us alliance or contractor-of-choice positions,” says Jason Turner, president of Matrix NAC. “It has also come through targeted acquisitions that help us better meet our client’s changing needs, expand our service offerings or extend our footprint into new geographic areas.”

Today, through acquired businesses, which have included The Hake Group of Companies, S.M. Electric and Kvaerner North American Construction, Matrix NAC enjoys a proud legacy in the union construction markets with history that reaches as far back as 1919.

“At Matrix, we believe our people set us apart and we’ve been focused on adding talented employees through recent acquisitions,” says Turner. “From the field to our corporate offices, our commitment to delivering best in safety and quality is what distinguishes the work of Matrix NAC.”

Matrix NAC

Partnering for project success

The breadth of in-house expertise and skilled labor found at Matrix NAC is vast, representing steamfitters, boilermakers, electricians, ironworkers, bricklayers, carpenters, cement masons, laborers, millwrights, operating engineers, painters, pipefitters and sheet metal workers.

Matrix NAC also boasts fabrication facilities for pipe spooling and steel plate fabrication, processing 35,000 feet of pipe spools and more than 1 million pounds of steel annually in support of client projects. Through its sister company, Matrix PDM Engineering, the company also offers multidisciplinary engineering service and support to its clients.

Integral to its success are the strong relationships Matrix NAC maintains with national labor groups, with active participation in the National Maintenance Agreement Policy Committee and other labor management committees and associations, both on local and national levels.

“Our involvement in these organizations allows us to effectively staff projects with qualified craftspeople who share our commitment to the highest possible standards,” says Turner.

At Matrix NAC that commitment is a prerequisite for the work the company does. 

The company has long provided service to the power generation and power delivery segments, including large capital construction as well as maintenance and repair. Most recently, Matrix NAC was awarded construction of TransCanada’s Napanee Generating Station, a new 900-megawatt combined-cycle power generation station to be constructed in Ontario, Canada. This project will be the second major gas-fired power generation project the company has constructed for TransCanada, and builds on a long history of constructing these type of facilities in North America.

Long-term relationships with the major public and private utilities mean Matrix NAC is often called upon for construction of substations, transmission and distribution lines and – in the case of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy – 24/7 storm restoration.

The company is also considered a premier contractor in the iron and steel industry. Representative of that position is Matrix NAC’s 30-plus-year alliance relationship with United States Steel, the largest integrated steel company in the nation. Matrix NAC provides daily plant maintenance and performs outage work for at United States Steel’s Gary Works and Granite City facilities.

Matrix NAC also offers substantial expertise in API 650 storage tanks as well as specialty vessels with cryogenic application. Beyond construction, the company provides complete maintenance, modification and repair services.

Recently, the company completed a two phase project providing engineering, procurement and construction on six open top tanks for Enbridge Energy at its Flanagan, Illinois, terminal and also performed mechanical and electrical balance of plant work, which included foundations, above grade pipe manifold, main line pumps and 10,000linear feet of underground piping.

In refineries, Matrix NAC also provides substantial electrical infrastructure service and support, as well as facility maintenance and turnaround support.

Recently, this work has included project management, scheduling and craft for several large capital and maintenance projects. Among them, ground-up construction of a 36-car Butane loading facility that included new Power Distribution Center buildings, operator control room, aerial power, fiber, duct banks, conduit, tray and wire. Project work also included an addition to a crude unloader facility which consisted of a half mile long installation of a cathodic protection system, pole mounted LED lights along with low task LED lighting.  The company is also currently completing installation of a boiler which was moved from a local refinery and is being rebuilt on-site with existing and upgraded equipment.

Other work has included foundation installation at area refineries for new storage tanks along with rerouting all the existing fiber optic aerial cables to better accommodate a new facility layout, as well as all below-grade civil work for a new crude unloading station.

It’s all complex, exacting work that requires well trained craftspeople that come through the labor groups with whom Matrix NAC maintains strong relations.

One such organization is the Mechanical and Service Contractors Associations of Eastern Pennsylvania (M&SCA-EPA) for which Matrix NAC senior director Mike Dougherty currently serves as President.

“I’ve been an active member of M&SCA-EPA since 1985 and of Steamfitters Local 420 for over 40 years,” says Dougherty. “I’m proud of the organization’s commitment to common interests and shared goals that protect and further the industry in all facets of the business – safety, policy, education, technology, marketing and leadership. Above all, I’m proud of the organization’s support of initiatives that promote the same quality and safety standards to which we as a company adhere.”

Top of the list for Matrix NAC is safety. “It’s the cornerstone of our company,” says Dougherty. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to make sure our employees and our customers’ employees make it home safely at the end of each day.”

That strong safety culture goes hand-in-hand with the company’s solid reputation.

“Across the entire Matrix NAC organization, we’re extremely proud of our safety culture and record, and it shows in our growth, our long-term client relationships and recognition,” adds Dougherty.

Matrix NAC consistently receives multiple safety awards from its customers and labor organizations.

Among those received have been eight separate Zero Incident Safety Awards presented by the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee (NMAPC) in 2014 as well as a combined 28 Citations of Merit under the 87th Annual New Jersey Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program. These citations were given for work completed at 28 separate job sites, completing a calendar year without lost time from a work-related injury.

Matrix NAC also received the two highest annual awards given by its parent company, Matrix Service Company – the Chairman of the Board Safety Excellence Award and the CEO Safety Excellence Award.

“I am extremely proud of our people and their work in union markets across North America,” says Turner. “The outlook in our core markets is strong and, as a team, we look forward to providing even greater service and support to our customers.”

Published on: August 18, 2015

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