NANA Construction becomes big employer in Big Lake
NANA Development Corp. has become a major employer in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough at the company’s module fabrication facility near Big Lake. About 100 to 150 people are working there at any given time depending on the flow of work, according to Sagen Juliussen, Alaska manager for Grand Isle Shipyard, a NANA subsidiary that operates the facility.
Grand Isle Shipyard is based in Louisiana and does support work for offshore oil and gas platforms. It recently merged with NANA Construction, which provides services to companies in Alaska’s petroleum and mining industries.
NANA bought the 27-acre Big Lake tract in 2008 with one building that supported light manufacturing. More facilities were added as the plant was developed to build light modules, mostly remote housing units, and heavy steel units in oil and gas and mining modules.
Facilities were also installed for the manufacturing of control panels.
A module unit for BP’s Gathering Center 2 was recently completed and moved to the North Slope.
NANA decided to build its plant in the Mat-Su Borough so as to avoid the extra trucking distance from an Anchorage location as well as issues of moving over-sized module units out of the municipality. Locating at Big Lake also allowed NANA to use Port MacKenzie, the Mat-Su Borough’s port on Knik Arm, for loading sea-lift modules and bring materials in.
The facility is currently capable of supporting the fabrication of over 30 modular units concurrently and, with the adjacent laydown areas, of storing over 50 units.
“The majority of our projects have been for North Slope clients but we have also done work for Cook Inlet oil and gas producers and for the Red Dog Mine,” said Juliussen.
NANA has been involved in oil, gas and mining support work since the mid-1970s. Its acquisition of Grand Isle Shipyard in Louisiana represented a major expansion into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Through the merger of NANA Construction with Grand Isle, the experience of the Louisiana company has been brought to Alaska.