Great Basin Industrial
Businesses are born when entrepreneurs see something missing in a market – primarily a product or service – and businesses then tend to succeed when they supply that desired product or service. Great Basin Industrial (GBI) was founded in 2006 when two industrial construction veterans, Scott Kent and Jeff Murray, recognized customer demand for contractors with a strong work ethic providing high-quality plate steel construction services. The market has responded very well, and the business has grown more than 50 percent each year.
“The company was started by two industry veterans with 20-plus years of experience in industrial welding and construction,” CFO J.D. Oldham explains.
“They were top-tier superintendents with a vision and dedication to doing things the right way. Since then they have added more key managers, employees, service capabilities and ultimately more customers.”
Based in Utah, GBI provides new construction as well as repairs and maintenance in the United States and Canada for industrial tanks, vessels, towers and other steel-plate structures. The company is dedicated to working closely with clients, engineers and general contractors to provide turnkey services such as engineering, fabrication, field erection, piping, refractory, painting, maintenance, repairs and alterations.
The company wrapped up its work at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott copper mine earlier this year – which Oldham says was a “a major project” for GBI – and it is currently working on a “major development” for an oil terminal in Canada. Oldham also notes that GBI serves many of the leaders of the petrochemical, mining and power industries and maintains strong relationships with most major engineering firms and general contractors.
“We started out with a single customer and one crew. Now we are seeing projects in the tens of millions of dollars,” he says. “Although relatively young as a company, the deep industry experience of our owners, managers and crews have helped us quickly win and retain leading customers and projects. At first, it was the credibility and reputation of our two original founders that got us work. But now we have our own company track record and even more expertise. Our full-time QA/QC director is a welding engineer with 35 years of experience, our safety director is a lifetime specialist, and our work is certified by the AWWA, API, ASME, CWB and National Pressure Vessel Board.”
Passing the X-ray Test
The expertise of GBI’s craftsmen allows it to work with carbon steel, stainless steel, high-nickel alloys and other “exotics”. Oldham notes that the company also is unique in that it has expertise with elevated structures, and it works on more than just the tank itself, having also completed associated foundation, piping, paint and brick lining work.
“We have deep roots as a steel plate fabricator and field erector,” Oldham says. “Our projects include tanks, clarifiers, scrubbers, thickeners, precipitators, stacks and ducting.
“We are expanding to increase our fabrication and field warehouse space by more than 50,000 square feet on 32 acres. We are a turnkey, one-stop shop for everything our customers need for tanks and more. We also have a large repair and maintenance service division within our company which represents 20 to 30 percent of our sales.”
He notes that GBI continues to focus on the mining and petrochemical markets; “those are our bread and butter,” he says, “and all of GBI’s crews are trained to work in these industrial environments.” GBI also sees potential in coal-fired power plants once the uncertainties surrounding the implementation of emissions regulations are finalized. Oldham says the company continues to grow 50 percent each year, and he attributes that to the work ethic of GBI’s people and their dedication to safety and quality.
“Our top-notch people simply deliver superior products and services,” he says. “GBI’s expert welders generate x-ray pass rates that track well above the national average. Their work stands on its own and keeps the customers coming back. In addition to the new customers we win each year, more than 65 percent of our business comes from repeat customers. We expect that trend to continue fueling our future growth and success.”