As Saskatchewan continues to see growth, businesses are setting their sights on the area and Ponoka’s Almita Piling has staked a spot as well.
The company announced Nov. 15 it had completed its acquisition of Swift Sure Screw Piles of Debden, Sask. The two companies have been working together for the last nine years and Saskatchewan is a natural market for Almita, said president Jeff Lloyd.
An increase in oilfield activity and a major upgrade to SaskPower’s transmission system make this an ideal addition to Almita’s plans, he added. “We’re definitely a growth company.”
Lloyd said the company’s goal is to expand by 20 per cent every year with the intention of growth to the United States. While expansion is important to Lloyd, Ponoka will remain a strong base for their fabrication plant as Almita is heavily invested in the plant.
Staff and crews are getting busier too, partly because of the company’s reputation, explained Lloyd. Many of their tender projects have been approved this year, which have made them busier than usual. “The things we’re doing well at Almita are certainly recognized.”
“We’re in a very busy time for our company,” he added.
Almita has offices in Calgary and Edmonton and Lloyd said acquiring Swift Sure Screw Piles seemed a natural decision as both companies have worked so closely together. Owners Kevin and Nicole Turner already sell Almita Piling’s product in the area. “We’re much stronger together.”
Because of the technological advances in oil sands mining in Alberta, companies in the province are able to provide services to the United States, which is why Lloyd feels the company should expand there. “At least in our industry, there’s a couple of interesting developments at play.”
Almita employs 225 people with those numbers rising.
Bill Baillie, director of operations, said the company is looking for field operations staff as they are expecting a busy season. “We are actively recruiting a number of employees for the work facing us.”
He said Almita Piling works with large piles such as 12, 16 and 20-inch diameter pipes and can work with up to 40 feet lengths of steel pipes. After some market research, he says he has concluded that the company is one of the top two piling companies in the world.