This company from St. Petersburg thinks the time of real builders has come.
A hard way
Since the moment of its foundation in 2003 “Kontinent” LLC has developed good partner relations with Construction Company “Bridges and Tunnels”. After seeing their colleagues at work for the first time on St. Petersburg Beltway, “Bridges and Tunnels” express interest to work together at practically every big project.
- “Working hand in hand with a company as powerful as this gave us bright perspectives and impulse to develop as a company”, - tells Mikhail Panfilkin, “Kontinent” LLC General Director.
- “The main challenge is, of course, working in mountains for the first time”, - explains Oleg Nikulin, Operations Director for “Kontinent”. – Getting started in December we faced the weather challenge. So we had to purchase lots of rough terrain vehicles, cranes and other units. We also had to establish insitu concrete production as to escape the headache of delivery. Besides, severe pressure drop specific to such heights, made us set harsh requirements to the applicants. A minor hypertension ended with a sick leave, - a rare case from our experience. Shortly speaking, the reality turned out to be no recreation.
And of course, the fact of working in a nature conservation area was taken and reckoned with in the most serious way.
But still, even before finishing the road embankment, we have set down to retaining walls, which would have been impossible to fulfill this project without due to constant mudflows and rockslides. It is safe to say, the tasks of making this road passable untill November will be fulfilled…
Retaining walls in Krasnaya Polyana consumed over 150 thousand cubic meters of concrete in their collective capacity, a great merit of “Kontinent” as well. To this day we proceed with concrete works for the cut-and-cover tunnel. In February of the next year all works on the second tunnel will be finished. Another facility in commissioning is three berths in Ust’-Luga near St. Petersburg with overall length of one and a half kilometers. It has been several years that “Kontinent” helps to develop infrastructure of this state-of-art transport junction. Its subdivisions are tied to their EPC contract obligations in building shipping terminals for oil- and gas tankers. Before Ust’-Luga we had other milestone projects such as “St. Petersburg Dam”, “Navigation passes C-1 and C-2” and berth line of the Vasilievsky Island: Morskoy Fasad of St. Petersburg.
As you can see, by ramping up the number of nationwide projects, the company justifies its name to a greater extent. Together with the “Bridges and Tunnels” we worked, for example, at “Sheremetyevo” airport facilities, last year we built bridges of the M-4 Highway “Don” detour near Efremov, Tula Oblast. This is, by the way, an arterial road of the Olympic Games.
- We are ambitions are serious and clear, - says Mikhail Panfilkin. – We strive to grow and develop into a large company capable to erect large structure as bridges, tunnels, and any complex engineering works by our own resources. Our production rates have doubled for the last five years, and this “vintage” year justifies the team’s ability to take on everything.
- Another positive thing, - as it was noticed by Oleg Nikulin, - is that the time of real builders has come. And indeed, before the economy took a dive, there were too many of so called “builders”, incapable of building anything but proficient in frustrating the market. Customers often had to pay a double price to clean the mass and redo the job after them. The financial slowdown forced both clients and investors to treat their expenses in the most profound way…
THE PEOPLE OF ROADS
- We have 260 concrete finishers, steel fitters, erectors, and other tradesmen working 24 hours a day on the road in Krasnaya Polyana, - continues Mr. Nikulin. – In exactly a month they rotate with the other group, making together five hundred people, what is a half of our team. But the key point is what people they are!
Let us say, foreman Ivan Lisin, is a real heart of our team in Krasnaya Polyana. He gets accustomed to his work in the most entire way, a highly competent and responsible manager who is able to sensitize people to the same positive mood. I am happy to realize that he and the company have found each other. “Kontinent” has a relatively young Chief Engineer – Aleksey Andrianov. However, I should underscore his Yeoman’s efforts in demonstrating high quality and professionalism while tackling heavy load of complex work…
I can’t but point out the tremendous contribution of the Site Manager. Alexander Serobabin’s leadership is our key to success in a challenging project such as this!
- When we arrived to the construction site, Alexander chose to attribute great trouble-shooting abilities to professional work planning and reliable procurement.
- I tend to think, that site managers play their part, though most of them are only 25 – 27 years old. Our sphere of competence is not limited to production, but also procurement, day-to-day operation, and addressing a whole lot of other issues extending to education of young supervisors, as we make them self-reliant and confident decision makers.
In a broader outlook, we managed to create a perfect working environment at this project. Everybody, starting from the General Contractor “INZHTRANSSTROY CORPORATION” worked in a harmony and professionally.
Yefim Basin usually takes a walk around all reference points, quite obvious what for. Such intensive pace of construction can afford no disruptions. If Mr. Basin has updates on every area of construction, none of those happen. It is not for the first time that he proves able to set forth an extremely complicated task, but never an impossible. You know, in December I had many doubts pertinent to some things, what made me wonder: will we make it by November? But now when I take this road, I see that Mr. Basin was right after all.
Believe me or not, I have never met builders of such caliber in my whole life…
The way “Kontinent” treats its workers deserves a lot of attention. Being away from home is not easy for people. To keep inconveniences to a minimum, we offer the best conditions for our engineers. For those who decide to take families we rent private apartments. We do not forget about our workers either. Since it was impossible to provide comfort in the living modules we decided to rent a whole hotel just for them. Sure it is more expensive, but a comparatively cool accommodation and shower is the least we can do. In a word, these are regular workers who earn money and get “Kontinent” going. Those who refuses to understand it – loses.
“Kontinent” is a big family and proud to unite family members in a literal sense. Foreman Lisin’s daughter, for example, works in the Estimate and Contract department. The father of Deputy General Director is a dispatcher. He is 69 and used to work as a Mechanical Superintendent for “Karagandaurlestroy” before he retired. The father of Chief Engineer Andrianov is the Production Base Deputy Manager. Evgeni, the son of our Mechanical Superintendent Nikolai Krutov, will soon make his way to a supervisor, according to Mr. Nikulin.
- I am convinced that labor dynasties play an important role in a production collective, - he continues. – The children joining their parents with the same company is an indication of good corporate spirit…
Komsomolskaya Pravda. Kuban.