Brains and Braun: Braun Intertec increases its NoDak presenceDrawn to the area by the oil boom that ended nearly 30 years ago, Minneapolis-based Braun Intertec is coming back in a big fashion.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
Drawn to the area by the oil boom that ended nearly 30 years ago, Minneapolis-based Braun Intertec is coming back in a big fashion.
The engineering and environmental consulting firm has had a presence in North Dakota since then, but offices in Bismarck and Fargo have carried most of the work until recently, CEO Jon Carlson said. By the end of 2012 the company had added offices in Dickinson and Minot and plans to open one in Williston in 2013.
“Other companies have come to North Dakota or they want to come to North Dakota because they see all this work with oil companies,” he said. “We think it’s important to be local and invest in our communities where we’re working.”
The pull of oil and coal brought Braun to North Dakota, and when oil went bust the company toned down its Bismarck operation to a hand full of staffers, Carlson said.
“Now, when you include the people that we have working in Bismarck and out of Bismarck reaching out into Dickinson and Minot where we also have offices now there’s over 150 people working out there,” he said. “It’s been tremendous growth in a very short period of time.”
Safety of its employees was the biggest reason to open more North Dakota offices, Carlson said.
“The commute is too long,” he said. “We have people that are working very long days on our clients’ projects … we don’t want to have our people driving when they’re that tired.”
It also puts the company closer to its clients, Carlson said.
One of the biggest projects Braun is working on in the Bakken is pipelines, Carlson said.
“Now they’re putting together a feeder-network of pipelines to flow this oil and the natural gas to collection points where it can then be more efficiently transported,” he said.
Previous projects in North Dakota include Roads Acting As Dams in the Devils Lake area, rebuilding after the flood of 1997 in Grand Forks and the Four Bears Bridge across Lake Sakakwea.
“(When) this boom was just getting started … Walmart was smart enough to see this coming,” Carlson said. “They built several stores and Sam’s Clubs out there and we were a big part of that.”
Cities like Williston and Dickinson are still feeling the pain of the mistakes of the ’80s boom, Carlson said.
“Quite frankly, that was one of the things that led to some of the difficulties that we’ve had to deal with over the years of this boom is that there was a lot of apprehension of people that were around at that time that remembered the fact that that was a pretty short rise and fall of the oil industry out there and they didn’t want to get burned again,” he said. “Particularly when it came to housing and other kinds of human infrastructure that we need.”
In Dickinson Braun Intertec is located at 131 23rd Ave E., Unit No. 3. Call them 701-225-7090 or visit their website at braunintertec.com.