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Vol. 14, No. 4 Week of January 25, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: Cruz Construction allocates resources for highest productivity, keeping clients satisfied

No matter how challenging the logistics, dynamic prime contractor Cruz Construction plans its work and works its plan every time

Cruz Construction clearly understands that the most critical factors in any project are safely performing all work, while facilitating the client’s satisfaction. We are a dynamic prime contractor, accustomed to working under a tight schedule and budget. This proven ability has made us a leader in the remote and logistically challenging projects found throughout Alaska. Our success is based on competence and positive working relationships that foster repeat and continued business. Thus, our success is measured by seeing that our clients meet or exceed all the goals they have for their projects.

Q. When was Cruz Construction founded? Who founded it, and what was its original name?

 

A. The company was founded in 1979 by Dave and Dana Cruz and maintains its original name.

Q. Where is your company located?

A. We have three locations.  Our main office is in Palmer, Alaska, and we have two field offices – one in Deadhorse and one in Fairbanks.

 Q.  Who heads up your company, and who is on its senior management team?

A. Dave Cruz is the president; Dana Cruz is vice president; Jeff D. Miller is the senior projects manager; Brian Ringer is chief financial officer; Brian Benston is our facilities manager; Kevin Weiss is the operations manager of Cruz Marine Limited.

 

Q.  What is the company’s primary business sector? What services does the company offer?

 

A. Our largest volume of work is oil field services, but we also perform heavy civil work, land clearing, directional drilling, fabrication, consulting, mine development and barging.

Q.  Who are the company’s main clients?

A. They are Chevron, Conoco Philips, Army Corp of Engineers, Alaska Department of Transportation and the Bureau of Land Management.

 

Q.  How many employees does your company have? How many in each of its locations?

A. During the months of September to May we employ as many as 200 people, and the remainder of the year we employ about 60. The winter staff is mainly based out of our Deadhorse office, and the summer staff is based all around the state.

 

Q.  Is your company expanding any of its operations or locations?

A. We recently have added a marine division to our operations, Cruz Marine Limited. This next summer it will be supporting our new runway construction project in Grayling.

 

 Q.  What is your company’s main strength, i.e., its edge over the competition?

A. Our people are our main strength. We have an amazing group of core employees who are committed to building our work safely and efficiently; most of all they have fun doing it.

 

 Q.  What new markets, clients or projects did your company attract in the last year?

A. We have expanded our facilities division to include another mobile 60-man camp. We now have nearly 200 beds spread between seven different camp configurations and two mobile shops. This infrastructure is catered to facilitate remote and mobile projects.

 

Q.  Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?

 

A. We have purchased a new mobile nano-filtration water treatment plant.

Q.  What is the most challenging job you’ve undertaken? 

A. That would have to be the Galena Emergency Stream Bank Protection Project. We put in three-quarters of a mile of rip-rap along the Yukon River in Galena during the dead of winter. We faced minus-60-degree weather and a short construction season. The project involved drill and shooting, ice roads, barging, Herc loads, ATV travel, Arctic conditions, trucking, material processing, and many other challenging tasks. We had 955 contract days to finish the project, but we finished it in 256 and won the AGC Contractor of the Year Award.

 

Q.   What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?  

A. The weather is the biggest obstacle.  You try to plan based on historical data, but in Alaska you can never be assured you know what tomorrow will bring.

Q.   What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A. Handling the effects of the rapidly changing economy.

 

Q.  What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from, say, political events or long-term weather fluctuations?   

 

A. Oil and gas exploration, mining exploration, and construction of a gas line will continue to provide plenty of opportunity for our company and the state. Of course none of this will happen without a stable state tax policy and reasonable regulatory environment.

Q.  What is the average length of time employees work for the company?

A. Our core group of employees consists of a range between 4 and 16 years.

Q.  What is your safety record?

A. Our current experience modifier is 0.74 percent and we have not had any lost time accidents on our projects for more than five years.

 

Q.  Do you have a website?

 A. Yes we do. Come visit us at www.cruzconstruct.com. It is currently receiving a major facelift.



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