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Manufacturing a Greener Future: Plant Modernization Aided By EPC Expertise 


The client is a global full-scale engineering and industrial turnaround company based in Boston. With a specialty focus on chemicals and performance materials, this company services a broad range of sectors, including transportation, environmental, and infrastructure. In addition, they also provide engineering and procurement services for multiple mission-critical projects. 

The company owns and operates a carbon black manufacturing plant in Ville Platte, Louisiana. Products manufactured in the plant are distributed across North America. In 2018 they announced a $90 million capital investment to modernize and enhance these World War II-era facilities as part of an effort to reach Carbon Zero. 

One of the ways they aim to hit this goal is by implementing a sustainable power generation system that would harness steam from an incineration process to produce electricity for plant operations. Furthermore, this process would remove impurities and reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and indirect greenhouse gases.  

map of louisiana

Key Challenges

Ville Platte is a small town in rural Louisiana, meaning the company would need to look well beyond the city limits to find the amount of talented mechanical, electrical and maintenance professionals required to keep this critical project running on schedule. Those candidates would have to be willing to relocate to Ville Platte for several years to see this project through. 

Furthermore, recommissioning the plant’s aged electrical equipment required a knowledgebase that even the top electrical engineers on the workforce don’t have anymore, making the talent pool even smaller. 

The company realized they needed a partner with nationwide reach and deep industry knowledge in the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) space that could help source this talent.  

The Solution

Planet Forward provides EPCs with hard asset manufacturing and environmental experience, and the company identified that they would be a good partner for this type of project.

Planet Forward was brought in to place professionals into temporary remote roles during the 6-month pre-construction phase. Once commissioning and construction began, Planet Forward helped facilitate their relocation to Ville Platte in order to work onsite for the duration of the project. Planet Forward’s recruiting capabilities and national reach quickly emerged as a key differentiator when compared to other firms, even encouraging talented professionals to come out of retirement to assist in recommissioning the plant’s aged equipment for air pollution protection.

For 18+ months, Planet Forward has supported the project with professional contractors in a variety of roles, including:

  • Maintenance Planners
  • Construction Managers
  • Electrical Project Engineers
  • Commissioning Engineers
  • Procurement Manager, CAPEX

The Results

As of spring 2023, the project is in capital phase 4 of 5 and is slated for completion in 2024. Throughout the project, Planet Forward has come to be viewed as a premier supplier, providing talent with critical and concrete skillsets that have been indispensable in ensuring the success of this plant rebuild.

The success of this project will lead not only to the prosperity of this facility, but to Ville Platte and Louisiana at large, driving significant revenue to the area, new jobs, and federal tax breaks to the state.
This plant is on its way to being a Carbon Zero facility, receiving the Louisiana Chemical Association’s 2020 Serious About Fostering Excellence (SAFE) Most Improved Award for demonstrating a commitment to Safety, Health & Environment practices. Planet Forward is proud to partner with a company committed to having a positive impact on emissions.

Three engineers in hard hats onsite at plant
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We Match Top Talent to Companies Worldwide.

At Planet Forward, we provide strategic and innovative human capital solutions for companies in the Energy, Environmental, Manufacturing, Technology, and Professional Services sectors.  We utilize a team-oriented approach to deliver best value to our clients and support the critical needs of their business.  Every day, all around the world, our clients depend on us to meet their evolving workforce demands.

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Photo Credits: Canva