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Specialists Awards winner: Concrete Specialist of the Year

The solid becomes the spectacular in this year’s award for concrete specialist of the year.

Winner: Balfour Beatty Regional

Many firms operate in tough restricted-access environments and Balfour Beatty Regional is one such specialist.

The firm is entirely at home on ports and jetties within the power, petrochemical and marine sectors and these markets can offer some very hostile environments.

Niche though they may be, focusing on these sectors has allowed Balfour Beatty Regional to grow by at least 10 per cent in each of the past three years.

In 2013 this really began to pay off, with turnover increasing from just over £3.1m to almost £5.4m. Of this considerable growth, 70 per cent was repeat business.

This expansion is principally through its expertise when working on the repair and protection of concrete marine structures. This sees it using methods such as cathodic and galvanic protection as well as hydrodemolition and sprayed gunite.

“The fact that a client thought a job couldn’t be done, but it was, speaks volumes for their ability to project manage what was a logistical nightmare in an extremely hostile environment. The level of planning and coordination required was impressive”

Judges’ comment

An example of delivering what was considered “impossible” was the firm’s £1.3m contract with EDF Energy on a jetty refurbishment at Hunterston B Power Station.

The client feared it couldn’t be done after because contractor had already left the site, saying the job couldn’t be completed safely. This had left EDF considering demolition and rebuild as the only possible solution.

Offsite trials of its access methods provided the confidence that enabled Balfour Beatty Regional to overcome the client’s reservations that the job could be delivered safely.

A 16-week weather window was just one of the restrictions facing the contractor, with tidal patterns adding further complications and requiring a platform that could be lifted as water levels rose.

The firm had to provide a specialist projects manager to oversee dive operations and scrutinise twice-daily weather reports to plan access removal as and when the weather and tides dictated.

Despite these challenges, Balfour Beatty Regional completed the project with zero accidents and complete satisfaction for EDF.

Finalists

Ground Construction (GCL)

VolkerLaser

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