KJ Contracting Ltd.

Heavy industrial electrical, certified panel building and surplus sales on Vancouver Island
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Chuck McKenna

Based in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, KJ Contracting Ltd. is not an average electrical contractor. Specializing in serving clients in the forestry, brewery and more recently, the food processing and manufacturing industry, KJ has a reputation for expertly designed power and control systems for heavy industrial settings.

Named for founders Kim and Joe Boileau, KJ is known throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan for its commitment to quality of service and excellent products. Above and beyond industrial electrical contracting, KJ offers surplus sales of Allen Bradley equipment and is one of the few ETL-certified panel shops in the region.

 “There are few companies quite like us in western Canada,” says Kim Boileau, president of KJ. “We’re not your regular electrical contractor; we serve specific heavy industrial clients such as sawmills, breweries, mining companies and food processing plants.”

In fact, KJ’s 300-plus client base has grown to include some of the biggest names in heavy industry: Western Forest Products, West Fraser Mills, Coca-Cola, Lehigh Material, Neucel Specialties, Teck Coal and others top the list.

The company was formed in 1995 by Kim and her husband, Joe, who now serves as vice president of KJ. “Joe has been in the electrical industry for a long time,” says Kim. “He started out doing wiring for saw mills.”

This specialty eventually transitioned into a standalone company and KJ was born. Al Harrison joined the company three years later, completing the KJ team. Today, Kim, Joe and Al share ownership. Sam Boileau, KJ’s motor control center (MCC) and panel shop supervisor, and Rob Hall, the surplus sales manager, are also part of the company’s upper management.

Diversified divisions

Over the last 18 years, KJ has grown to serve an array of industrial needs. “KJ’s 35-person team has developed as respected designers of power and control systems, project managers and suppliers for the industrial sector,” explains Kim. “KJ established and expanded a sales division that concentrates on surplus new and rebuilt Allen Bradley programmable logic controllers [PLC], I-O cards, motor control centers and many other AB industrial control products.”

 “KJ has become the largest exclusively Allen Bradley surplus dealer in Western Canada,” notes Kim.

The company offers these high quality products for half of what they cost brand new. “We have more than 10,000 square feet of inventory so there’s a very good chance that we have something a customer needs in stock,” says Kim. “If not, we have many contacts and can find the product, hassle free.”

All of KJ’s products undergo vigorous testing and inspection. “All of our Allen Bradley products come with a better than manufacturer one year ‘in service’ warranty,” adds Kim. “Whether you require cost-effective Allen Bradley PLC parts, or a ‘good as new’ motor control center built and wired to your specifications for a substantial savings, KJ can supply them for you.”

In-house control panel design and installation

More recently, KJ has become a certified panel building shop, constructing control panels for all kinds of industrial applications. “For console building, we are ETL-certified and KJ has lots of experience in panel building,” says Kim. “From PLC cabinets, variable frequency drives, heat trace control panels to single-hole button stations and Cyber-Tech handles, there’s no project to big or small for our team.”

Along with many other projects in western Canada, KJ successfully manufactured 44 consoles for the Shell Canada Albion Sands Project in early in 2010 and just recently in 2015 completed the Altagas Hydro project third phase control panels. As a member of the United Steelworks Local 1-1973 union, KJ is committed to quality design and installations with one of the best crews in the business. Kim says the company’s next objective is to increase its food industry client base. “We just rebuilt a hefty amount of equipment for Saputo Foods,” says Kim. “In the near future we’re going to be making a greater push in food market. We’re really trying to beef up our sales in food and beverage to diversify because the forestry industry can be up and down. Fortunately for us, if construction isn’t moving, equipment sales, especially rebuilt, keep going.”

As the next generation joins the team, KJ Contracting continues to push forward. “Our daughter, Michelle helps run our office operations and she will step in once Joe and I reach retirement,” shares Kim.

With diversified divisions, KJ Contracting Ltd. is more than a standard electrical contractor, but a heavy-industry specific support team, leading western Canada in electrical design, installation, certified panel building and surplus sales.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
E.B. Horsman & Son
Guillevin International