Texas 2010 rank: No. 1

Market, rank: No. 1, Marine Construction

Orion Marine Group
Photo Courtesy Orion By Aero Photo
Orion Marine Group
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A variety of public and private projects throughout the Gulf Coast region led to a good 2009 for heavy civil marine contractor Orion Marine Group of Houston.

“There are a lot of great things going on,” says Chris DeAlmeida, director of investor relations and corporate communications for Orion Marine. “We serve a lot of end markets where a lot of things are moving including port expansion, the widening of the Panama Canal, bridge building and dredging, partially enabled with stimulus funds.”

On the private side, the company built new docks for the cruise industry and an off-loading facility for a plastics producer. It also dredged a shipping channel for a private oil company.

“Dredging was large in Texas this year, and we kicked off the largest project the company has ever had—a project deepening the Galveston channel and shoring up the dredge spoil areas,” DeAlmeida says. Orion is rehabilitating dredge spoil areas in the Houston ship channel. Dredging comprises about one-third of its revenue.

“What sets us apart is the ability to bring turnkey services,” DeAlmeida. “We self-perform 85% to 90% of our work. We control the critical path.”

Orion, founded in 1994 as a project management construction company, grew over time in Texas through acquisition. It then branched into Florida. The company moved up the Eastern seaboard to the Carolinas and Virginia and has expanded to the Caribbean. It also opened an office in New Orleans.