Keller North America Acquires GeoConstruction Group Bencor

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The acquisition of Layne Christensen Company’s GeoConstruction group (“Bencor”) strengthens Keller’s product range and packaged solutions offerings in North America and beyond.

The addition of Bencor to Keller North America compliments and extends our offerings on civil projects involving deep excavations and cutoff wall requirements.

Keller North America announces the acquisition of the GeoConstruction group (“Bencor”) of Layne Christensen Company, a company that operates internationally, with headquarters in Frisco, Tex. This acquisition will strengthen Keller’s product range and its ability to offer complete packaged solutions in North America and beyond.

Bencor will operate as a separate business unit of Keller North America and will retain its original name. Bencor brings decades of experience and the drive for innovation that made it a respected leader in the diaphragm wall (D-wall) and deep cutoff wall industry.

In addition, the acquisition includes a team of specialists which is highly experienced in specialty geotechnical grouting and has completed complex jet grouting projects in North America and overseas. Bencor complements Keller’s existing product lines in North America and abroad in providing clients turn-key, cost-effective geotechnical solutions and design-build services.

As part of the acquisition, Keller will take on Bencor’s highly esteemed management team and all 150 employees.

Bencor has nearly a half-century of expertise in designing and constructing deep foundation systems and cut-off walls for dams, levees, shafts, and underground structures, dating back to 1969. Traditionally renowned for constructing D-walls, a product often used for earth retention and/or water cut-off in major infrastructure projects, Bencor is skilled in a multitude of geotechnical construction techniques.

Especially notable is Bencor’s use of highly advanced equipment such as hydromills and bentonite slurry technology, which enables it to successfully perform a wide range of complex and challenging geotechnical construction projects.

Keller assumes Bencor’s ongoing construction contracts as a part of the acquisition. The largest project currently booked involves seepage remediation by constructing a concrete cutoff wall at the East Branch Dam in Western Pennsylvania. This project has just begun and will take several years to complete.

Another major ongoing construction contract is the Central Subway second phase of the San Francisco’s Third Light Rail Program. Bencor is providing excavation support and ground improvement for the underground subway tunnel stations. The scope of work includes the installation of reinforced concrete slurry walls, compensation grouting and jet grout soil stabilization.

Among Bencor’s high-profile projects is the Clearwater Lake Dam located in Wayne and Reynolds County, MO. Bencor installed a continuous, concrete cutoff wall along the full length of the DSAC-1 Dam to remediate seepage and improve stability. The cutoff wall length was approximately 4,200 linear feet and the depth approximately 200 feet.

Another high-profile project is the Dam Foundation Remediation at Mississinewa Lake in Peru, Ind. Bencor used up to three hydromill slurry wall machines to construct a 30-in-thick concrete cutoff wall to serve as a barrier to the migration of embankment or overburden materials into openings in the hard foundation rock. The slurry wall was extended to 235 feet in one area of the dam where a solution feature was discovered.

Recent major projects include the DC Clean Rivers Project, Division A – Blue Plains Tunnel located in Washington, DC. Bencor was contracted to install five reinforced concrete slurry diaphragm wall shafts along the tunnel alignment. The shafts varied both in depth and wall thickness. The slurry walls provided initial support of excavation and also formed part of the permanent structure for dewatering and screening shaft operations.

Concerning the acquisition, John Rubright, Managing Director of Keller North America stated, “We have always had a good working relationship with Bencor and have been very impressed with their capabilities. The addition of Bencor to Keller North America compliments and extends our offerings on civil projects involving deep excavations and cutoff wall requirements. We are excited to welcome Bencor to the Keller group and look forward to continued joint success.”

For more information on Keller North America’s acquisition of Bencor and the services offered by the office, contact James D. Hussin at 410-551-1938, or JDHussin(at)kellerfoundations(dot)com.

About the Keller Group

Keller is the world’s largest independent ground engineering specialist, providing technically advanced and cost-effective foundation solutions to the construction industry. With annual revenue of around £1.6 billion, Keller has approximately 9,000 staff worldwide.

Keller is the clear market leader in the United States and Australia; it has prime positions in most established European markets as well as a strong profile in many developing markets.

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Caitlan Reynolds

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