Gennaro Dessy established Demaco Corporation (Demaco) in 1978 as a maintenance and corrosion company serving the island’s growing petrochemical complex. The business has grown and diversified significantly over the years.
In 1984, Gennaro and his team constructed a vast chemicals terminal on the company’s land. The terminal is the largest of its kind in Puerto Rico, applying new technology to launch diverse bulk storage services for chemical products. The terminal sits on 280 acres of land, including an activated free trade zone of 33 acres to encourage an exchange of high quality energy and chemical products. Demaco also has a growing construction division geared toward serving many of the same clients.
Gennaro serves as CEO of the operation, overseeing all divisions. Ownership is divided between him, his wife and their children. Gennaro takes great pride in his staff and Demaco’s diverse capabilities. Because the company is able to offer services to several different aspects of the chemical industry, few businesses in the region can compete. Demaco operates out of a single location in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, working around the island in locations such as Santo Domingo and St. Croix.
Safety is key
In an industry marked by a number of inherent dangers, Demaco utilizes a top-ranking safety program to keep employees and clients safe. The company’s safety, health and environment department has established programs, policies and a corporate culture committed to exhibiting the highest level of compliance in the industry. The result is an impressively low incident rate with employees going home safe to their families every night.
The program keeps leadership and employees actively engaged with the process. “We train all personnel with safety awareness courses and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations,” says Gennaro. He and the leadership team believe that every accident can be prevented and Demaco follows a zero tolerance policy toward risky behavior. The team receives safety awards every year from clients and offers safety awards and incentives to the safety team leaders.
The company’s diverse capabilities and reputation for safety have attracted a broad customer base over the years. The construction division provides full-service construction, maintenance and engineering services for clients in the energy industry and beyond. With a crew that gets as large as 400 employees in the busy season, Demaco performs everything in-house. Part of these services incorporate the original maintenance work the company started with in 1978, such as blasting, corrosion control and painting. Over the years, Gennaro and his team have added rigging, demolition, electrical, excavation, masonry and steel work, as well as tank and pipeline construction and inspection.
The business aims to provide value through several avenues. Demaco’s safety record on its own ensures clients that down-time will not be an issue. On top of that, the core staff value-engineers projects to cut costs and out projects on the fast track. The construction division has applied these skills and practices to diverse work. Customers come from several sectors, including pharmaceutical companies, oil refineries and electrical power plants.
“All our projects are important to us,” says Gennaro. “We are bidding for a lot of different things right now. We have interest in taking on growing opportunities with pipelines and the related facilities.”
Staying ahead in a challenging market
Puerto Rico is still feeling aftershocks from the recent recession. Gennaro reports that the market has been competitive and that clients are hesitant to invest in major projects. “We know we have to think positively,” he explains. “We just have to work hard because there are opportunities of which we are not taking advantage yet. Providing new jobs and staying in the market is a good way to help our communities grow and that is our goal as a business.”
To remain competitive, Gennaro and his team focus on building lasting relationships with clients, suppliers and strategic partners alike. “We always work with the same suppliers because we know them and we know they are committed to our work,” he explains. “We also look for new opportunities to add value to our services, but it is more important to keep the partnerships we already have.”
Backed by strong partnerships and a staunch commitment to safety, Demaco is looking ahead to new opportunities. In the coming years, Gennaro expects to see some steady growth. “We want to continue working and looking for new markets to serve,” he explains. “We want to make sure we are providing the services our potential clients need in the changing market.” By focusing on customers, Demaco Corporation will expand in a controlled manner that allows the team to continue offering leading service in Puerto Rico.
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