Rénald Côté 2007 Inc.
Rénald Côté started Rénald Côté Contracting over 30 years ago. The ownership changed in 1998, and then again in 2007, when Marc Riverin, Michel Miller and Mario Laberge acquired the firm and renamed it Renald Côté 2007 Inc., also known as RCI.
The new owners started to grow the firm exponentially, and this growth continues to this day. The three took on the northern Quebec and its tremendous construction growth potential coming from the boom in the iron ore production and public works projects. For the past five years RCI has been listed in the last PROFIT 500 Canada’s fastest growing companies, finishing 16th in 2012 (with a 2,605 per cent of revenues augmentation).
In 2008 the company completed four projects totalling nearly $3 million, including a major contract with Scieries Kruger upgrading landfills for the communities of Ragueneau and Longue-Rive (southwest of Baie-Comeau). Fast forward four years, in 2012, the company increased these numbers forty times over, completing contracts worth $120 million. The company has approximately 400 employees (depending on the contracts, season, and projects underway).
“Today we have an impressive equipment fleet of some 55 excavators, 30 wheel loaders, 16 bulldozers, 18 60-ton trucks, 19 40-tons trucks, and four sets of mobile crushing units,” says Marc Riverin, CEO.
“The major challenge of our industry is the distance. In fact, the majority of our jobs are distant mining sites. So we need a very good logistics and management to make sure everything runs properly. We have to plan traveling for every employee, for our equipment fleet, and the transport of all the support mechanisms (such as fuel for all the equipment) also needs to be setup very carefully. This always represents a significant challenge.”
With the challenge of distance come challenges in acquiring the best skilled labour available and willing to work extended periods of time in remote northern locations. The company recruits professionals from across the province, with an incentive of premiums for work in remote locations. To increase efficiency, RCI uses the company plane and flies its employees from Montreal or Lac Saint-Jean to its remote work sites. In these challenging conditions, work needs to be executed fast, and the typical workday consists of two 12-hour shifts, consisting of either 28 consecutive workdays with 14 days off, or 14 working days and 14 days off in the mining sector.
What makes RCI different is the quality of service. “We take the time we need to finish every job perfectly. We talk with the client to make sure we do exactly what they need. We provide a high quality service. Besides this quality, the diversity of our fleet and equipment make us very unique. We have a lot of different equipment that’s make us capable of doing almost any job, big or small, on a mining site. We have specific mining equipment and also smaller equipment for quick and precise job.
Also health and safety represent an important part of our success in these remote locations. This issue is extremely important to us as it is to our clients, and we strive to create the safest working conditions possible,” says Riverin.
Over the years the company participated in many projects, including projects for Cliffs Natural Resources. Cliffs Natural Resources owns and operates two iron ore mines in Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The two mines produced 8.5 million metric tonnes of iron ore product in 2012. RCI worked on the Phase 2. of a factory for this global giant. The project has been on hold due to the global economic slowdown, but is once again ready to reopen.
“At this moment, we also are in the middle of a big project to build dike for all the residues of the mine, and we continue to service Cliffs’s day-to-day work,” says Riverin and continues, “We also work for ArcelorMittal, another big mining company, working on mining site preparation; and we also have another contract near the town of Chibougamau to build Road 167 that will give access to the Otish Mountains. We have ongoing relationships with these companies and we are optimistic that we will continue working together ion the companies’ projects in the future.”
With the booming resource sector and with many mining companies planning to expand into the area RCI sees many business opportunities in northern Quebec as well as Labrador, and is ready to provide services to all those interested in doing business here.
The company has achieved great success over a fairly short period of time, but Riverin’s goal is to turn RCI into the service leader in Quebec and Eastern Canada. “We want to move RCI in front of the competition and continue to grow. We opened an office in Labrador, and we want to start business in this territory because there are a lot of big projects in the air,” concluded Riverin.