Heading For The Green Light
How a steel fabrication company dodged the commodities downturn and found renewal in renewable energy
IN 2013, CHIEF CONTRACTORS WAS A SMALL STEEL FABRICATION
company working out of Nisku and primarily serving the oil and gas industry. Before oil prices plummeted, minor projects ranging from repairs to general maintenance were more than enough to keep the company humming. Kieran Quirke joined the company in 2014 as the general manager responsible for sales and business development. Under his leadership the company grew. In July 2015, Quirke helped orchestrate a takeover of the company by Swiss multinational Globotics Industries. By then Chief had been hit hard by slumping oil prices and the company was forced to make serious cuts to its staff and operations.
For many companies, that might have spelled the end. But Chief and its new parent company were ready to adapt. “Everyone was nervous about what was happening in the industry,” says Quirke. “It was very difficult, but we had a lot of support from our suppliers and vendors.” Globotics brought on some advisors to assist Quirke in a major company overhaul, the focus of which was diversification into new industries and markets. “We kept on with some fabrication, but we started
TO SURVIVE THE SLUMP, KIERAN QUIRKE, HEAD OF CHIEF CONTRACTORS, HAS STEERED THE COMPANY TOWARDS BRINGING RENEWABLE ENERGY TO THE OILFIELD