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Saint John Contractors and Suppliers Benefit from JDI Forest Products Modernization

95,000 person hours of construction work to date from Saint John Contractors.

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April 6, 2015: To date, 75 Saint John businesses have secured contracts with the $450 million Irving Pulp & Paper Mill modernization project currently underway in Saint John.  So far, over $43 million has been spent on Saint John supplies and services from the local businesses. 

Derek McGraw, Industrial Operations Manager at Master Mechanical is managing the installation of 9,000 feet of pipe for the new cooking plant at Irving Pulp & Paper Mill modernization project.

“Having a client like J.D. Irving reinvesting into their mill like this makes them a really good steward of the industry,” said Styve Dumouchel, CEO, Lorneville Mechanical, a Saint John industrial contractor.  “It helps give us confidence that we can be around for the years to come, because they are keeping their equipment up-to-date. JDI is becoming best-in-class in their product, and that is very encouraging for us. We love to have these construction contracts, they employ people, but tied to us also is the ongoing maintenance work and service work that this reinvestment does. Having a strong, healthy industrial partner like J.D. Irving just makes us a better contractor.”

Lorneville Mechanical Contractors Inc. was founded in 1978 and one of its first major contracts was with the Irving Pulp & Paper mill.  In 1995, its subsidiary company, Master Mechanical was formed, and again, the Irving pulp mill was one of its first clients.

“As a co-op student, I was actually at Irving Pulp & Paper during one of their major expansions,” said Bob McLean, President, Master Mechanical Contractors Inc. “I was there as a summer student, went back and finished my degree, and then came back as a project manager for them for a few years. Over the course of time, I’ve found myself at Master Mechanical and am currently their president, and now we’re there working at the mill as a contractor.”

Master Mechanical crews will be fitting and welding over 9,000 feet of pipe as part of the new cooking plant at the pulp mill. The contract involves the installation of supports, pumps, and other equipment in the new building as well.

“This is a rather large contract for us,” said Derek McGraw, Industrial Operations Manager, Master Mechanical. “It is going to employ 25-30 people for the remainder of the year for us. It is going to employ shop and site personnel, and it’s going to keep over 20 skilled trades working in Saint John, New Brunswick for us.” 

“The experience we’ve gained through doing work with J.D. Irving has allowed us to do projects in Newfoundland, and we currently have projects in Alberta,” said Dumouchel. “Without that strong industrial base in Saint John, and that partnership with JDI, this would not have existed, so we really appreciate that. These construction projects not only  keep our people home and their skilled trades honed, but we are better able to capitalize on some of the large projects going forward. Having the work locally makes us much more effective.”

Lorneville Mechanical is one of 1,700 businesses from 200 communities in New Brunswick that supply JDI’s forest products business throughout the year. Many of those businesses are small enterprises with less than 20 people, and most come from rural communities.

“We want to say thank you to New Brunswick businesses that are supplying our $513 million re-investment back into our forestry operations right here at home in New Brunswick,” said Jim Jordan, Vice President, JDI Supply Chain. “This re-investment not only benefits our suppliers directly, but it also benefits the communities where our suppliers live and raise their families.”