Cajun’s Deep Dive into Deep Foundations

Over the last 20 years, Cajun has become a national pioneer in providing best-in-class deep foundations services to clients nationwide. The company’s wide range of services and equipment deliver tailored solutions to customers who need safe, high-quality deep foundation installations as they grow their businesses. Cajun offers driven displacement piles, drilled displacement piles, auger cast-in-place piles (ACIP), helical piles, retention systems and silent piles, each of which brings the right capabilities for any set of conditions.

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on is that even though we have grown this discipline significantly, we service clients who need anything from a single pile to a complex, mega-pile project,” says Cajun Senior Vice President Scott Callaway. “Whatever their needs are, we can create a cost-effective design-build or installation only solution.”

In the late nineties, Cajun merged two successful operating business units that each focused on drill shafts and driven piles under one roof, creating a single-specialty deep foundations group. Since then, the company has grown its menu of self-performing services based on evolving customer needs.

“We are likely the most diverse deep foundations provider in the Southern half of the United States when it comes to the equipment and services we offer. We’ve invested heavily in top-of-the-line equipment and employee training,” Callaway says. “That is a huge benefit to our customers because we can look at our arsenal of products and design a strategy that gets the job done safely and efficiently.”

Cajun’s deep foundations specialty group has performed a multitude of projects across the country, particularly in the energy, chemical and advanced manufacturing sectors. One of its biggest projects to date was completing deep foundation work on nearly every aspect of the global energy company Sasol’s $11 billion world-scale petrochemical complex in Westlake, Louisiana. The project is one of the most significant economic development projects on record in the state of Louisiana.

The project included deep foundation work for an ethane cracker plant as well as six chemical manufacturing plants. The expansion project tripled the company’s chemical production capacity in the United States. Cajun also provided EPC services for the project’s construction dock, which played a critical role in supporting the transport of critical project components. In both instances, the Cajun team brought expertise in finding the right design and project strategy to address unique soil conditions.

“Cajun was able to use all of its resources, including equipment and talent, to get the Sasol project done on time, on budget and with zero health and safety incidents,” says Cajun Senior Project Manager Chip Dupuy. “It was a very complex project with a tight timeline, varying environmental factors and a large quantity of pilings.”

On another project, Cajun was contracted by Marathon Petroleum Company to deliver comprehensive deep foundations solutions for pipe rack infrastructure and several new refinery units. The project, which won the 2016 ABC Bayou & Pelican Chapter Excellence in Construction Awards, allowed for increased product into the 564,000 barrel-per-day facility.

A key component of Cajun Industries’ work is safety.

“It’s our number one priority and what sets us apart,” says Project Manager Tom Lehmann. “We have multiple programs, guidelines and best practices in place to make sure our teams are well trained at all times and comfortable with what they’re doing.”

Moreover, Lehmann says the company has mentorship programs in which new hires are paired with experienced employees to help them better learn the ropes about safety and processes. The business unit is also keen on promoting from within. “Many superintendents and foremen are former pile drivers themselves,” says Lehmann, “so they really appreciate the importance of safety and clarity on the jobsite.”

Cajun’s best practices and standards create a culture of knowing how to act and react under common scenarios, while also teaching adaptability since deep foundation work can present varying challenges and conditions.

This bedrock of excellence in safety, equipment and innovation has created a robust deep foundations specialty group at Cajun that continues to expand today.

For more information, please contact: Molly Moran, 225-754-1321