Innovative Solutions


Encanex is a speciality manufacturer that operates out of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Alberta. The company provides innovative solutions for the oil and gas industry on and offshore, both domestically and internationally.

Business in Focus spoke with Daniel Dooks, Encanex’s Director of Business Development, about what the future holds.

Encanex was founded in 2005 and aims to return valuable assets back to its customers, through its two distinct and unique product lines. Moduworks™ is its custom fabricator for metal products, equipment and modular solutions, and Valueback™ is the brand which encompasses processes for treating the by-products of industry while recovering valuable assets from the waste.

The Moduworks™ solution can provide modular solutions that vary in size and scope, from small units, to house equipment, to large scale industrial complexes. Racks, skips, cargo containers, workshops and entire site offices are constructed; these units are completely outfitted in the company’s quality controlled facility. When a product leaves the facility, it is fully tested and ready to use. After arriving on site, it is simply put together, and the entire structure comes to life.

“These units are extremely attractive for work camps for remote and rural regions,” says Mr. Dooks. The units are the perfect solution for sites with a shortage of the labour necessary to complete the construction of the structure for the site. “At the end of the day, we provide anything that the client requires through our Moduworks™ manufacturing process.”

A good example of this can be seen in a project that was just completed for one of the barges that will surround the gravity-based structure (GBS) at the Hebron oil field construction site in Newfoundland. The EXXON/MOBIL owned is being constructed inside a graving dock (drydock). Once the base itself is built, it will leave the dock for a deep water site where concrete will continue to be poured and the GBS sunk in place. At that point in time, the entire drilling platform will be mounted on top.

During that process, a significant amount of other work is underway. The entire structure in the harbour is surrounded by several barges. “We, at Encanex, have delivered the modular units for two of those barges. Those modular units would include everything from locker rooms to washrooms to lunchrooms, office space, workshops, and more; it’s a total turnkey solution. We basically design and custom build any one particular unit – or structure – to meet our client’s requirements.” The company has provided onshore units as well.

Encanex works with its clients to understand exactly what they are looking for and then applies those needs through the entire Moduworks™ process. It is dealing with industrial strength items, both for onshore and offshore use. Onshore products, used at mines or work camps, adhere to a different set of regulations that those required for offshore products. Anything Canadian built for onshore use has to follow CSA standards, but products for offshore need to be DNV rated. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is a Norwegian regulatory authority.

Valueback™ creates custom equipment to process industrial by-products, and Encanex works with its clients to look at what their industrial by-products are and how to dispose of them appropriately. It also tries to return valuable components such as water, oil, minerals and metals that the client that can re-use or sell. “Most industries have a by-product that is undesirable to industry and in the past a lot of those by-products have simply been looked at as waste or a huge expense that must be incurred by the company in order to remediate,” explains Mr. Dooks. The Encanex process can actually turn those waste streams into revenue.

The company is building a drilling drains treatment package for the Hebron offshore platform. After the platform leaves the dry dock in Newfoundland, every drop of water that hits it will be collected and stored in a holding tank. Encanex has designed a Valueback™ system that will treat the water so that it can be discharged back into the ocean.

In Northern Alberta, Encanex processes are used to separate oil and water. Northern Alberta’s tar sands contain heavy crude oil and bitumen products which are too viscous to be extracted via traditional means. An enhanced oil recovery technology known as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) is employed. Horizontal wells are drilled into the oil reservoir and high pressure steam is injected into the upper one to heat the oil. The heated oil, lower in viscosity, drains into the lower well and is pumped out

“What comes out is oil, water and a little bit of something in between,” explains Mr. Dooks. “We have a system that separates the oil from water and gets the oil back to the client, and we can recycle the water as well.”

Encanex started focused on the offshore oil and gas industry in Atlantic Canada before expanding to include the Alberta tar sands. Presently, the team is looking to take the company global and diversify not only geographically, but also in new directions, such as the emerging field of shale gas extraction. Some of that work is taking place in Trinidad and more opportunities are presenting themselves throughout North America.

Of course, in order to expand operations, Encanex needs to expand its workforce. “What we have done is concentrated on making this a good place to work. We have facilities in Halifax and Newfoundland with other operations in Northern Alberta. Whenever you have a region that is undergoing a significant boom in industry, labour can become a bit of an issue in terms of accessing it. What we do is to ensure that we provide our employees with the best possible services and culture that a company can provide.”

In order to handle this rapid growth, the management team is very careful in regards to investments made and projects they undertake. This managed, strategic growth is based on a five year plan that is continually being adapted and updated. The company looks ahead to where it wants to be, identifies opportunities, and plans for those while refusing to compromise on quality or service.

“When [some] companies are in growth mode, they can lose track of the fact that you have to expand the organization in an appropriate manner to be able to handle all of the additional challenges that arise,” shares Mr. Dooks. At Encanex, this is simply not an option.

In fact, Encanex relies heavily upon its team of industry professionals and their diverse expertise. It is the company’s people that truly drive its success. “We have the ability to bat above our weight. We, as a company, are not afraid to hire the people we require.” Mr. Dooks feels it’s important for employees to be able to maintain a good work/life balance and feels that the company culture contributes to that.

Encanex strives for a turnkey approach by tailor making items to suit its clients’ needs. While many companies only offer stock products, Encanex works together with clients to create builds that are unique as the client specifications. The team focuses on client service and high quality goods with all products constructed in its ISO 2001:2008 certified facilities. What Encanex really wants to be known as is an innovative company that is growing while staying on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the industry.

Says Mr. Dooks, “There are other companies that can do what we do, but what we focus on is our client, customer and quality approach – and our dedication to safety for workers. In oil and gas, that is the number one priority. Safety and the environment are first and then everything else comes after that.”

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July 22, 2018, 2:59 AM EDT

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