Cematrix of Calgary has become leading supplier of cellular concrete
via Calgary Herald by David Parker
Congratulations to CCA Member Cematrix on its outstanding accomplishment! Cematrix is now North Americas leading supplier of cellular concrete.
PHOTO BY COURTESY CEMATRIX /Postmedia
Founded in Calgary in the early 2000s, despite the ups and downs of our economy, Cematrix has become a North American leading manufacturer and supplier of technologically advanced cellular concrete products that today is a cash flow positive company and continues to grow rapidly.
Cellular concrete is a construction material consisting of cement, water, a specialized pre-formed foaming agent and compressed air. It provides the infrastructure construction market with a lighter, better, overall/cost-effective solution with a wide variety of applications, including the backfill of overpasses, bridges, mechanically stabilized earth panels and tunnels.
It is also used in highways, runways and facilities that are constructed over weak, unstable, frost or seismic prone soils as a floating sub-base, an insulator, or both.
Today, Cematrix has grown, due to the discovered benefits of cellular concrete and some strategic acquisitions in the U.S., but it has had its challenges.
Jeff Kendrick, president and CEO, well remembers coming close to having to shut down in 2003-04, taking the company public in 2005-06 and being able to boast of making money the following year.
Then came the 2008 crash and with the majority of his clients in the oil and gas industry, he had to start all over again. Another dip suffered in the oil and gas industry in 2013-14 was another blow, but undaunted and pressing on with the help of the Business Development Bank of Canada, the former Alberta Opportunity Company, and some believing and supportive shareholders, Kendrick began to experience growth again.
His business career began as a chartered accountant, recruited while a student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay by the Calgary office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He moved on from the accounting firm to become the CFO for Jager Industries, a Calgary family-owned company that became a major Canadian player in land, manufacturing and housing.
Kendrick was persuaded by some of his hockey-playing pals to launch a startup company in producing aerated concrete products, and with good engineers and his experience in the financial aspects of running a business, Cematrix was born.
It has been a remarkable climb for Cematrix that recently won awards of $8.1 million in new contracts.
“We are pleased to announce that these projects are from across North America and include tunnel backfill, geotechnical, and energy infrastructure projects,” says Kendrick. “Cematrix’s Canadian bids to the end of May 2021 were 81 per cent higher compared to 2019 and 2020 totals, providing further evidence that the Canadian market is rebounding after COVID-19 delays.”
Cematrix cellular concrete is made on-site using mobile batch plants. Today, it has 18 units spread across North America, totally mobile to deliver cost-effective, environmentally friendly, innovative solutions to a broad range of problems facing infrastructure, industrial and mining, and commercial markets, wherever they are needed.
Major recent acquisitions of two of the four leading U.S. suppliers, Chicago-based MixOnSite and Pacific International Grout of Bellingham, Wash., have helped Cematrix become North America’s largest cellular concrete company, with 85 per cent of the company’s sales south of the border.
Besides its U.S. offices, Cematrix has Canadian operations in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto, and Kendrick and his team are looking at international expansion. He is confident that the Calgary-led provider of cellular concrete will become a $100-million company within the next five years.