For the last 20 years, Houston-based L-Con Inc. has been a proven leader in construction services as a single-source contractor for a range of heavy industries in the process, refining, midstream, petrochemical, terminal, power and steel sectors. Founded in 1996 by Tom Schueck, L-Con now has some 400 employees, serving major customers throughout the Gulf Coast.
Engineering services were added in 2006, making L-Con a complete solution for engineering, procurement and construction services all under one roof. The company delivers small to midsized projects with a total installed cost of up to $150 million. On these projects, L-Con’s crews are able to lower costs and expedite schedules without sacrificing safety and quality.
“Working with L-Con gives our clients a single point of contact, time and money savings and the ability to get on stream ahead of schedule,” explains Kelley McGill, president of L-Con. “We’re strategically located to offer top talent in the industries we serve in order to assure the successful execution of all of our clients’ projects.”
Market versatility through parent company backing
McGill joined L-Con after 18 years with the firm’s parent company, Little Rock, Arkansas-based Lexicon Inc., a multifaceted group of companies made up of both fabrication and construction companies. “I started with Lexicon in 1996, the same year L-Con was established,” he says. “I started working for L-Con in March 2014, but I’ve been in this industry since 1987. I joined the industry because I always saw great potential and thought it would always be strong.”
With the backing of Lexicon, which has been doing business since 1968, L-Con has added flexibility to enter various markets. “Our parent company is focused on the structural-mechanical side, which has helped us because we can take on more of these projects and not get caught up in just the oil and gas market, especially lately through a downturn in the energy industry,” notes McGill.
McGill says L-Con has found its footing in the marketplace as a small to midsized EPC company, offering all disciplines in both engineering and direct construction, including fabrication. “Not too many companies of our size have all of this under one roof; most specialize in one thing or another,” he says.
Another advantage L-Con boasts under Lexicon is increased structural capabilities. “We can offer structural steel and plate work fabrication,” says McGill. “This allows us to control all aspects of a project from engineering all the way through fabrication and installation. We self-perform about 90 percent of our work, with the exception of soft trades such as painting and insulation.”
These turnkey services are attractive to clients in a range of heavy industries — oil refineries, petrochemical plants, terminal and storage facilities, blending and packaging facilities, plant relocations and more.
As far as terminal industries, L-Con supports a range of bulk liquids, chemical and hydrocarbon customers, rail and truck loading facilities, marine ship and barge loading sites, pumping stations and pipeline compressor stations. On the power and steel side, L-Con serves steel and steel manufacturing, air quality control equipment makers, gas turbines — both single and combined cycle — and steam turbine generation.
“Our focus is really in the oil and gas market, but we’ve recently looked into plastics manufacturing and steel mill projects in an effort to diversify,” notes McGill. In recent years, ranging from 2010 to 2014, the company completed a $30 million refinery expansion and also a $10 million gas plant relocation project.
Putting safety front and center
McGill assures, no matter the type of work, site or project goals, the foremost thing on L-Con’s mind is safety. “Our goal is always to get everyone home in the same condition they came to work and make some money,” he says. “We take great pride in our safety rating. Currently, our EMR rating is down to 0.53. Things have really improved; three years ago we had 15 recordable incidents, last year we had four and this year we’re at one.”
With the rate of lost-time and recordable incidents going down every year, L-Con’s dedication to safety certainly shows. “We’re certainly headed in the right direction,” says McGill. The company recently received the ABC STEP Gold Level Safety Award for its record in 2014 as well.
Focusing on safety first attracts more big business in major markets for L-Con. “A lot of our work remains focused in and around Houston, but the south Texas market is strong and we’re not afraid to branch into new territories,” says McGill.
“In the past year, our engineering group has fallen on some tough times,” he continues. “Things for them have flatlined a bit and we were forced to cut back substantially, but the goal is to work on rebuilding this in the next year. This is feasible, because the economic climate is improving. I recently attended a conference on the health of the oil industry and it all seemed pretty promising.”
With diverse capabilities across markets, L-Con Inc. is well positioned to gravitate toward growth.