Supermetal is a leading specialty contractor that supplies, fabricates and erects complex industrial works, signature institutional projects and high-end commercial buildings.
The Quebec City firm started as a family business in 1959. Through the years, the company’s project portfolio has spanned numerous large scale projects, from office towers to bridges and research centres. As a result, the company has continued to grow, expanding from regional and provincial markets to its current operations situated across Canada and in the United States, plus a production office in Manila, Philippines.
Supermetal aims to be the industry’s leading structural steel supplier of choice. Currently, Supermetal has an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes of steel, and employs over 600 people, steadily increasing its performance level over time. As a full service organization, Supermetal offers the entire gamut, from engineering services to detailing and installation, as well as structural steel fabrication across all Canadian provinces.
“We are a very flexible company. If we need to speed up installation to meet a new requirement, we adapt in order to provide the best total construction cost to our client,” Jean-Francois Blouin, President of Supermetal, told The American Business Journal. “Change is inevitable. We’ve simply built it into our business model.”
Perusing its expansive project portfolio, Supermetal highlights its involvement with the Eighth Avenue Place’s East tower in downtown Calgary, where the company was involved in the project engineering, fabrication and erection. Across the commercial sector, Supermetal typically covers high-rise structures, arenas and sports complexes.
Eighth Avenue Place is a $1 billion, 50-storey structure that opened its doors in January 2011. The structure includes more than 12,000 tonnes of steel. Achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Core and Shell (CS) Platinum certification, the Eighth Avenue Place development is a modern architectural design that illuminates Calgary’s financial district skyline.
Supermetal beams of its activity in the energy sector, with project involvement in oil refineries, hydroelectricity projects, and power dams, in addition to its extensive work in the potash industry. Supermetal’s ability and desire to work across multiple sectors has allowed the company to pursue projects in nearly all Canadian provinces. Currently, the company is involved with work in the oil sands, the potash industry, and a hydropower project in Ontario.
In its home province of Quebec, Supermetal has been engaged in large-scale aluminum smelter projects. The Rio Tinto Alcan Aluminum Smelter, based in Alma, is a state-of-the-art facility measuring more than 230,000 square feet. Supermetal has supplied more than 20,000 tonnes of steel for the structural project, and has consistently delivered exceptional service and an ability to quickly adjust to rapid project developments. Another smelter, the AP60 expansion project in Jonquière, is valued at $3.6 billion. Even though the health and safety standards were among the most stringent, Supermetal was able to exceed expectations.
Supermetal’s project diligence and expansive reach continues to separate the company from its competition. For example, Supermetal is the only organization within the structural steel fabricating industry to hold all three major certifications – namely ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management).
“We take health and safety very seriously, and our statistics reflect the low rate of incidents and accidents in our shop and on our sites,” Blouin added.
“Because of our good track record, companies are motivated to work with us.”
Supermetal’s collaborative approach further differentiates the company in an overall diverse and competitive industry. Beyond its role as a specialty contractor and project manager, Supermetal sees itself as a partner working alongside its client.
“[The client’s] project is our project, and our approach and flexibility is unique in the industry,” Blouin summarized.
Saying “no” to a client is not part of Supermetal’s vocabulary. “We find solutions and possibilities to ensure that we provide a hassle-free experience to our clients at the lowest total cost of construction. We do that while focusing on their priority whether it be health and safety, quality, or schedule.”
Moving forward, Supermetal wants to continue growing its capacity, particularly in the American market, where the company has recently opened a new production facility to best meet industry demand.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” added Blouin. “However, that does not mean being the largest or the cheapest, but rather, when clients have a challenging structural steel project, they will think of Supermetal as a premier contractor.”