Hundreds of local jobs on the way

By Geoff Lee

December 6, 2016 12:00 AM

JOB MAN Nick Ryan, a business development and field supervisor for Newcart Contracting Ltd., helped host the grand opening in Lloydminster on Friday. He said Newcart is expected to staff a crew of about 500 tradespeople for a Lloydminster Husky Ugrader turnaround in mid-2017, and many of those positions will be filled by local workers.. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Newcart Contracting Ltd. has moved to Lloydminster and is promising hundreds of local jobs for spring turnarounds and maintenance work, the Source has learned.
The company held a grand opening late last week and is now accepting resumes.
“When we start picking up other work, preference will always be given to locals,” said Nick Ryan, the business development and field supervisor.
“As soon as we get our manpower requirements for the projects we’re looking to in the new year, is when we’re going to start hiring.”
Newcart, based in Rocky Mountain House, has a contract to provide 500 to 600 tradespeople for the Lloydminster Husky Upgrader turnaround expected to take place in May or June.
The Friday grand opening showcased some of the services the diverse oilfield services the construction company will provide in the Lloydminster region, including turnarounds and maintenance.
Ryan said he put the call out and they’ve already recieved quite a few resumes from local people for various trades.
“The goal is to retain as many local workers as possible not just for the turnarounds, but for anything we have going on,” he said.
Newcart’s grand opening and employment plans should give unemployed workers a sense of optimism, said Ward Read, CEO of the Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation.
“This is probably the best time in our history when we can use this kind of news, be it full time or for term employment with a company like Newcart setting up shop first off,” said Read.
“Having a permanent location is great and then bringing this influx of people for a turnaround will be a nice impact.”
Newcart began moving into its location at the old Moody’s Equipment Shop on 44th Street in September to be closer to their oilfield clients.
“We’ve been coming up here since 2008 and we got involved with some of the major projects at Husky at the upgrader and slowly progressed to the refinery,” said Ryan.
“Again, it was something we were continually asked by our clients: ‘When are you going to move to town,’ so finally we bit the bullet and here we are.”
The company has also transferred its sister division, Newcart Safety Services Ltd., from Red Deer to Lloydminster as it reinvents itself.
“Right now, the company is focussing on becoming a turnkey outfit, so we offer all the services from scaffolding, safety services, QC (quality control) and multiple trades,” said Ryan.
The company also does normal gas plant maintenance, turnarounds and new construction.
Newcart won’t be providing turnaround services for Husky’s expected refinery shutdown in April, but they will send a specialty crew that does bundle pulling, dry ice cleaning for aerial coolers and work on heat exchangers.
“Also we do some low-level risk asbestos abatement for them,” said Ryan.
The upgrader turnaround alone is expected to draw 2,500 to 3,500 tradespeople to Lloydminster for about six weeks, with a high number of workers expected in town for the refinery turnaround as well.
“There will be a lot of action in town,” said Ryan.
Read said turnarounds have a positive ripple effect on the local economy that go beyond improving the production facilities at the refinery or the upgrader.
He said the influx of workers gives a boost to accommodations, retail stores and gas stations.
“There’s just a general level of spending increase that happens when these types of people come through,” said Read.
“It’s definitely good news; in Lloyd our No. 1 energy company is continuing to invest and make improvements—that’s a great sign overall.”
He added that’s great news companies like Newcart are looking to hire and bring people in.
Ryan and Scott Varcoe, the company owner and operations manager, are the first two Newcart employees to relocate to Lloydminster with a crew of workers brought in from Rocky Mountain House to help with the transition and opening.
Ryan said Varcoe purchased the business in 1993 and started with a trailer and a van and turned it into what it is today.
The company now operates from a 7,500 sq.-ft. office building with a training room.
They will offer a full suite of safety training courses similar to what competing companies provide in the area.
The company is setting up its second 10,000 sq.-ft. bay into a fab shop for oilfield work.
“We’re hoping to be able to fabricate anything from pipe spools to anything structural that needs to be done here in town on site,” said Ryan.
Newcart’s yard is filling with construction equipment and its fleet of vehicles for maintenance crews, including two Peterbilt trucks that pull 52-foot tool cribs to job sites.
Newcart also has 10 air trailers, picker trucks and some buses to transport workers safely to and from sites—and not just turnarounds.
“We’ve been involved in some expansion projects—we’ve done various small projects here and there with compressor stations and whatnot,” said Ryan.
Ryan said all the activity around the relocation is generating a positive buzz in the Lloydminster community.
“A lot of people say, given the times, this is something pretty nice that’s happening around here—it is giving some people hope,” said Ryan.
“Guys see it and then come in and see what we’re doing and we’d like to think there’s a lot more work coming.”
Ryan noted Lloydminster could become Newcart’s new head office depending on how things pan out for them.
“We’re confident it’s going to go well.”

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »