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Corrib provided the platform for Kilcawley’s growth
Sligo based Kilcawley Construction has been working on the Corrib project since 2007. “We were very fortunate as none of us realised what was coming down the tracks in terms of the recession”, recalls managing director Brendan Henry. “Initially we were awarded a contract for 40 weeks work towards the end of 2007 and we have been on site ever since.”
Brendan Henry, MD of Kilcawley Contruction wth Darryl Gill and Paul Hughes, Construction Manager, Shell Ireland.
The benefits of working with Shell were felt immediately. “In 2008 when the biggest recession in history hit, we were working for one of the best companies in the world. While other contractors were laying people off, we were able to keep all our staff and actually started employing more people. We never let anyone go. We couldn’t have done that if not for Shell.”
The security offered by Shell was instrumental in the company’s development. “It gave us the courage to invest and spend money”, Henry points out. “We were able to go out and hire some excellent people who were available because of the recession. Thankfully many of them are still working for us today. When we started working with Shell we were a €12 to €14 million company. Annual turnover is in excess of €30 million now and we are also operating nationwide.”
That growth has been fuelled by enhanced capability. “We have become a better company as a result of working on Corrib. Shell is at a different level when it comes to quality, health and safety, and environmental standards. We have adopted best practices in relation to health & safety, environment, and management systems, while maintaining key staff and constantly upgrading our IT systems.”
The control room and administration facilities for the Corrib gas terminal were built by Kilcawley Contruction.
This has made a significant difference to the company when it comes to winning new business. “When I go into a pre-qualification interview for a job and tell them about working with Shell, people’s ears prick up. It has brought us to a whole new level,” says Henry.
Important relationships with local sub-contractors were also developed. “It was part of the Shell criteria to work with local sub-contractors and we are still working with them on jobs throughout the country today. Working with Shell on the Corrib project has given us a great platform on which to build our company,” concludes Henry.