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Q1 2021

PLUS: Secrets of success from top execs Port of New Orleans in growth mode Focus on maintenance + turnarounds

The

Energy

Evolution

How will Louisiana fare?

FR E E WE BCAST M AY 5 : LOR EN S COT T & S COT T ANGELLE. SEE PAGE 9.

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CONSTRUCTION - Civil - Structural Steel - Equipment Assembly & Setting - Piping - Subcontracting - EPC

TURNAROUND MECHANICAL SERVICES

TURNAROUND WELDING SERVICES

- General Mechanical - Bundle Extraction - Tower Field Services - Technical Bolt Torquing & Tensioning - Field Machining - HF Alky Specialist

- Piping - Heaters - Specialty Welding - Rigging - Repairs

PIPE FABRICATION - Gonzales, LA - Houston, TX - Corpus Christi, TX

800.383.8681 repcon.com info@repcon.com

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Issue Date: July Ad proof #2

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

COMMERCIAL

A/C & HEATING | ICE MACHINES | REACH-IN REFRIGERATORS & FREEZERS | WALK-IN COOLERS & FREEZERS | WINE CELLARS | WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS | RESTAURANT KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

RESIDENTIAL

A/C & HEATING | INCLUDING MINI-SPLIT SYSTEMS WINE CELLAR REFRIGERATION & SERVICE

SALES | SERVICE | INSTALLATION | REPAIRS

W W W. EAGLE RE F RI GE RATIO N.CO M 6220 Hollyfield Dr. | Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-751-6912 | For service: Dispatch@EagleRefrigeration.com 1012industryreport.com

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BEAUMONT BAYTOWN

SULPHUR

BATON ROUGE BROUSSARD ST. ROSE

CORPUS CHRISTI

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CONTENTS

18 Publisher: Rolfe McCollister, Jr. EDITORIAL Editorial Director: Penny Font Editor: Sam Barnes Contributing Photographers: Terri Fensel, Cheryl Gerber, Don Kadair ADVERTISING Sales Director: Kerrie Richmond Senior Account Executives: Marielle Land-Howard, Kelly Lewis Account Executives: Mary Katherine Bernard, Mandi Bryant, Taylor Fountain Advertising Coordinator: Brittany Nieto

The

Energy

CORPORATE MEDIA Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content Strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia Strategy Manager: Tim Coles Account executive: Judith LaDousa Client Experience Coordinator: Studio E: Nicole Prunty

Evolution

CUSTOM PUBLISHING Sales Director: Erin Palmintier-Pou MARKETING Chief Marketing Officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & Events Assistant: Taylor Floyd Events: Abby Hamilton Community Liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil

How will Louisiana fare?

ISTOCK

PRODUCTION/DESIGN Production Manager: Melanie Samaha Art Director: Hoa Vu Graphic Designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt

 6 Editor’s Take

A classic case of putting the cart before the horse

LAUNCH

 9 ICYMI 12 The Big Picture

Growing power on West Baton Rouge farmland

15 Executive Profile

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

31 EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK

industry and construction leaders to share their organizations’ perspectives on the challenges and opportunities they anticipate in 2021, and the lessons they have learned in the past year.

34 Staying the course

The Port of Greater New Orleans returns to growth mode after a disturbing decline.

40 Secrets of success

Top execs at three of Louisiana’s fastest-growing industrial companies in the nation share how they did it.

44 Are ‘robocontractors’ the future of

industrial construction? LSU partners with Rutgers University on a wearable exoskeleton for workers.

47 Hitting a wall

Only technology can take maintenance to the next level.

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A PUBLICATION OF LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister, Jr. Executive assistant: Tara Broussard President and CEO: Julio A. Melara Executive assistant: Brooke Motto

53 The surge

Pent-up demand provokes a maintenance ramp-up for this fall and beyond.

SUBSCRIPTIONS/ CUSTOMER SERVICE 9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-421-8157 • FAX 225-928-5019 1012industryreport.com email: circulation@businessreport.com

CLOSING NOTES

58 Project Map

Active Louisiana industrial projects announced or proposed with projected capital investment of $25 million to $250 million

Volume 6 - Number 2

60 Project Map

Active Louisiana industrial projects announced or proposed with projected capital investment $250 million or more

62 My Toughest Challenge

Denise DeLaune, Senior Site Manufacturing Director of St. Charles Operations for Union Carbide, on growing diversity

Send your ideas and company news to editor@1012industryreport.com. 1012industryreport.com

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Audience Development Director and Digital Manager: James Hume Audience Development Coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience Development Associate: Jordan Kozar

FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/ RELIABILITY/ TURNAROUNDS

NEWS

Meet Mike Moncla, CEO of Moncla Energy Services, Vice President of Marketing for DrilTech and interim president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association

ADMINISTRATION Assistant Business Associate: Tiffany Durocher Business Associate: Kirsten Milano Office Coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Varnado Brown

© Copyright 2021 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. All rights reserved by LBI. 10/12 Industry Report is published biannually by Louisiana Business Inc. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Hwy., Ste. 300, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 928-1700. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 1012 Industry Report, 9029 Jefferson Hwy., Ste. 300, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. 10/12 Industry Report cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs, with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. No information expressed here constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities.

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IN THIS ISSUE

A classic case of putting the cart before the horse

T

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAM BARNES

he Biden administracreating fabrication and manufacturquick and significant upticks in mantion’s sledgehammer ing jobs in the process. power at select plants across south approach to the oil Louisiana will undoubtedly play Louisiana. and gas industry a big role in the effort, as decomThat fact has prompted many owncame faster and more missioned offshore rigs could be ers to closely coordinate with other severely than expected. While many incorporated into the process. South plants in the timing of their turneconomists and soothsayers had Louisiana fabricators, in fact, have alarounds. Dow, for example, is stagpredicted a return to Obama-era ready dipped their toes into the wind gering its spring 2021 turnarounds at regulations, they wrongly predicted power market by working projects its St. Charles and Plaquemine plants the administration would take a more along the East Coast. See “The energy so that its contractors can move gradual approach due to the pandemevolution,” beginning on page 18. seamlessly from one site to the other. ic-induced strains Plant owners are already being felt also leaning heavby industry. ily on manpower Even more reports published inexplicably, Biden’s by organizations spate of Executive such as the Greater Orders and climate Baton Rouge Ininitiatives come dustry Alliance in even as significant Baton Rouge and local progress is Southwest Louisimade in developing ana Construction alternative fuels Users Council and reducing emisin Lake Charles, sions. which poll their GrÖn Fuels is members monthly. moving forward At present, both with a new $9.2 are in sync with the SHUT IT DOWN: On his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order canceling same prediction: a billion biofuels the Keystone XL pipeline—making good on his promise to the climate activists who helped get him facility in Port widespread uptick elected. He and his administration are now being sued by Louisiana and 20 other states that argue they will be hurt economically by the decision. Allen, Louisiana’s in turnaround power suppliers are demand is expected Nonetheless, the Biden administurning increasingly to solar farms to to begin in August and crescendo tration’s climate goals are a bit like diversify their portfolio, and a lengthy into spring 2022. putting the cart before the horse, list of liquefied natural gas facilities as many fear they could potentially promise to bring the cleaner burning PORT NOLA POSITIONS eliminate jobs even before these new fuel to the world. FOR GROWTH “green” industries are fully developed. Many industrial owners have also The abrupt shutdown of cruise A more gradual, phased approach, made great strides toward achieving traffic in the wake of the pandemic they contend, would have been more “net-zero emissions” and could ultisent shock waves throughout New logical—not to mention less damagmately beat the fed’s 2050 goal. Orleans and the Port of New Orleing to Louisiana’s economy. G2 Net-Zero LNG is touting ans. A good bit of its revenue, after its own unique approach, saying its all, comes from cruise traffic. BELATED BOOM proposed LNG plant in southwest While they’re waiting expectantly Out of necessity, the COVID-19 Louisiana could appeal to both for its return, Port NOLA is certainpandemic prompted most industrial sides of the issue by tapping into ly not standing still. Its future is still companies to pull back on their capthe burgeoning liquefied natural brighter than it has been in decades, ital spending and perform maintegas market while also capturing and highlighted by investments in a brand nance on an as-needed basis only. selling byproducts to achieve net-zero new container yard, a deeper river That could lead to a mountain of emissions. capable of supporting larger Panamax maintenance turnaround work in Perhaps the most attention-graband New Panamax ships, enhanced 2021—mostly in the latter half of the bing initiative has been the potential rail capacity and collaborations with year—and into 2022. See “The surge” of wind power in the Gulf of Mexico, area ports. Already, their shipping on page 53. as various Louisiana groups actively volumes are nearing pre-COVID While it’s unlikely that it will strain discuss ways for the growing industry numbers. See “Staying the course” on the local workforce, there could be to co-exist with offshore oil and gas, page 34.

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WE’RE HERE TO HOST AND FACILITATE MEETINGS THAT MATTER, SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON DOING WHAT YOU DO BEST. The Alliance Emerging Technologies Center (ETC) provides an environment conducive to design thinking, as well as space for business and industry to come together – safely – to ensure they’re able to respond to the changing needs of their workforce. Within the ETC, there is an area dedicated to Design Thinking, which helps companies uncover the root causes of issues. Design Thinking workshops utilize a company’s most valued resources – its employees – to discover the best possible solutions. This process empowers companies to innovate, evolve and align at speed.

TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE ETC AT DESIGNTHINKINGNOW.ORG DESIGN THINKING IS A STRATEGIC, HUMANCENTERED PROCESS THAT ENCOURAGES QUICKLY MOVING FROM AN IDEA TO A SOLUTION.

Get further, faster.

Call 225-228-4308 or email etc@alliancesafetycouncil.org

alliancesafetycouncil.org 1012industryreport.com

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LAUNCH

ICYMI

‘10/12 Industry Report’ May 5 webcast:

The Energy Evolution— How Will Louisiana Fare? LOUISIANA ECONOMIST Loren Scott and Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Interior under President Donald Trump, will share their insights about the future of Louisiana’s energy economy in a May 5 webcast hosted by 10/12 Industry Report. The Energy Evolution: How Will Louisiana Fare? will explore what it will take for Louisiana to transition to the new energy economy as the nation moves away from fossil fuels and toward a low-carbon future. It will conclude with a 10- to 15-minute Q&A featuring questions from the moderator, Executive Editor JR Ball, and webcast attendees. The webcast is sponsored by the Alliance Safety Council, Bradley Murchison and the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. Registration is free. 1012industryreport.com

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THE SPEAKERS Loren Scott is founder of Loren C. Scott & Associates Inc.,a 35-year old firm that provides economic consulting and public speaking services for a wide range of clients. Consulting activities include impact studies, forecasting services, analysis of policy proposals, and general economic analyses. Scott is one of the 32-member National Business Economic Issues Council. This group has experts who cover international trade, Washington economic policy, retail trade, trucking, steel, chemicals and more. He is an energy specialist on the NBEIC. Scott was in the Economics Department faculty at LSU from 1969 to 1998, where he rose through the ranks from assistant professor to the holder of the Freeport-McMo-

ran endowed Chair of Economics. He is presently Professor Emeritus of Economics at LSU. Scott Angelle is the former director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he was chief regulator of oil and natural gas exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf. The Breaux Bridge native has more than 30 years of experience reforming agencies and organizations in both the public and private sectors. Past positions include Commissioner for District II for the Louisiana Public Service Commission, member of the LSU Board of Supervisors and a member of the board at Sunoco Logistics Partners LP. He also served as secretary of the

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources under two governors and Interim Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana during the height of the worst oil spill in U.S. history. He successfully achieved an early end to the offshore drilling moratorium imposed by the federal government. The webcast is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 5. Audience members can submit questions in advance on the registration form. A recording of the event will be available afterward to registrants and 10/12 Industry Weekly subscribers. To register, go to 1012industryreport.com/events/2021webcast. Submit your questions for the speakers in the “Questions & Comments” field on the form. Registration and attendance for the webcast is free. 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  9

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LAUNCH: ICYMI

Could Keystone cancellation mean a $25 billion railway deal?

ISTOCK

A $25 BILLION DEAL between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Kansas City Southern offers new hope for expanded access to the Gulf Coast for Canadian oil producers that have struggled to reach heavy oil markets in Louisiana and Texas, according to the Financial Post. Canadian oil and gas companies have for years tried to expand their options to ship heavy oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, but their efforts to reach the world’s largest concentration of heavy oil refineries have been repeatedly challenged. Most recently, President Biden cancelled permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. CP Rail’s deal with KCS looks promising. Currently, only Canadian National Railway Co. offers a direct route for oil producers to ship crude from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but the combined CP/KCS railway network could introduce some competition among the railways. The CP and KCS rail networks currently connect in Kansas City, from which point the KCS rail line offers direct connection to heavy oil markets in Louisiana (Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans) and Texas (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Houston and Corpus Christi).

Turner sets up shop at the Port of Iberia AT PRESS TIME, Turner Industries was set to begin its long-term lease at the Port of Iberia in May. The 95-acre site is needed for future fabrication of modules and related services in the energy sector and other industries. The Baton Rouge company considered 30 potential port locations along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico before selecting the Port of Iberia for its sixth permanent

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Louisiana site and 13th site companywide. Extensive facilities with fabrication bays, overhead crane capacity, warehousing, office space and bulkhead accessing the port’s commercial canal contributed to Turner’s selection of the Louisiana site. With locations in Baton Rouge, Port Allen, Geismar, Sulphur and New Orleans, Turner Industries employs 10,000 people across Louisiana and 18,000 company-

wide. In New Iberia, the port offers unobstructed access to its commercial canal, with the ability for Turner Industries to fabricate and transport industrial modules of up to 5,000 tons for key commercial customers. Future capital investment and job creation by the company at the Port of Iberia will follow new construction orders added to Turner Industries’ existing portfolio of projects.

1012industryreport.com

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Issue Date: 1012 Spring Ad proof #2

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

BY THE NUMBERS

This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

13

THE NUMBER OF STATES, including Louisiana, seeking a court order to end the moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands imposed after President Joe Biden signed executive orders on climate change Jan. 27. The lawsuit specifically seeks an order that the government go ahead with a sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico originally scheduled for March 17.

TITANIUM ROUND & REC BAR • PLATE • SHEET • PIPE & FITTINGS

ISTOCK

SAW CUTTING • SHEARING • WATERJET • GRINDING • AND MORE

18 GREEN POND ROAD, ROCKAWAY, NJ 07866 | +1-888-482-6486 SALES@TITANIUM.COM | WWW.TITANIUM.COM

$94.5 million

THE AMOUNT OF money Placid Refining is considering investing into its crude oil refinery in Port Allen. The project would include new equipment such as loading arms, piping and a water header. No final decision has been made, but construction would start in April 2022 if it moves forward.

THEY SAID IT

O

TO

“I look forward to having a meeting with the president to discuss the importance of oil and gas, even as we transition away from fossil fuels, but that transition is going to be decades long. So we want to make sure we are going to continue to produce oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico.” FI L

E

PH

—Gov. John Bel Edwards on President Joe Biden’s orders to shut down oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico 1012industryreport.com

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LAUNCH: THE BIG PICTURE

GOING

GREEN

COURTESY ENTERGY

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POWER UP Entergy Louisiana customers are now receiving power from the largest solar facility in the state: Capital Region Solar, a 50-megawatt solar facility located in West Baton Rouge Parish. “Capital Region Solar is the latest addition to what we envision to be a growing portfolio of clean-energy resources serving our customers,” says Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. “We are committed to delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy to our communities, and this project helps us do just that.” POWER PARTNERS Entergy Louisiana is purchasing the power generated by Capital Region Solar, a 50-megawatt solar plant constructed in West Baton Rouge Parish, under a 20-year agreement with Helios Infrastructure, a joint venture between Nationwide and Sol Systems. The agreement went into effect in October 2020.

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197,000 PANELS The project, which was built by DEPCOM Power, comprises approximately 197,000 solar panels occupying about 560 acres of land near Port Allen. The power produced by the site will offset the equivalent of nearly 19,000 passenger vehicles’ emissions in one year. The plant adds to Entergy Louisiana’s approximately 190 megawatts of renewable resources. Entergy Louisiana’s portfolio also includes the state’s two largest sources of carbon-free energy: Waterford 3 and River Bend nuclear units. Together, the two units produce about 17% of the state’s energy and account for 94% of the state’s carbon-free energy. PORTFOLIO TRANSFORMATION As part of its plan to continue expanding its clean-energy portfolio for the benefit of customers, Entergy Louisiana has issued a request for proposals to add up to 300 megawatts of utility-scale solar resources that would be in service by 2023. The company has an emissions strategy to reduce its carbon emission rate by 50% below year 2000 levels by 2030.

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

2020

Pr

Top 100 i

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Companie

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LAUNCH: PEOPLE

Executive Profile: Mike Moncla

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POSITIONS:

CEO, Moncla Energy Services; Vice President of Marketing, DrilTech; interim president, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association EDUCATION:

Bachelor’s degree, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

ran into a childhood friend of mine, Patrick Killeen, at a Christmas party in 2019.” Killeen asked him to take over as vice president of marketing for his directional drilling business, DrilTech, which has work in west Texas. Later, Moncla also took over as interim president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association following the departure of Gifford Briggs, where he now runs the day-to-day operations of the association and serves as a lobbyist. “I am politically minded and have a lot of passion for both Louisiana and the oilfield, so this role fits me well,” he says. All the while, he continues to work for Moncla Energy Services where he handles sales, Master Service Agreements, ongoing lawsuits and the company’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve contract for the U.S. Department of Energy. 10/12 Industry Report sat down with Moncla to discuss the challenges and rewards of working in the oil and gas market. What do you find most challenging about working in oil & gas?

The general public doesn’t understand the challenges we face. From 2015 to now, some 500 companies have filed bankruptcy. Louisiana is not blessed with the sexy shale plays that Texas has. We only have one in Haynesville, and geographically it’s difficult for south Louisiana companies to participate in north Louisiana. When the oil companies are barely

DON KADAIR

M

ike Moncla is no stranger to hardship. Like most oilfield service companies, Moncla Energy Services of Lafayette was forced to make a lot of hard decisions after the price of oil plummeted from more than $100 a barrel down to $27 in 2015. The service side of the business was hit particularly hard, and Moncla’s company went from boom to bust. It was a different story before that. As the third generation in his family’s workover rig business, Moncla began working for his father after graduating from college and helped guide the company through several years of growth. “We had seven rigs at the time,” he says. “By 2007, we were the largest independent workover rig company in the U.S., with 53 rigs in seven states.” Although Key Energy Services bought the company in late 2007 and hired Moncla to oversee aspects of their operations, he saw the need for a change just three years later. “It was a tough marriage,” he says. “Their big company mentality didn’t fit with the way we like to run our business.” In 2010, Moncla, his uncle and two brothers purchased the barge side of the business from Key and started over. It was a fortuitous move, as the company quickly grew in annual revenue over the next four years, making it the fastest growing oilfield service company in the U.S. At its peak in 2014, Moncla Energy Services operated 35 rigs (both land and water) and even worked in Alaska. Of course, that all changed when the bottom fell out, and the company was forced to significantly scale back its operations and work with creditors just to stay in busines. And while things have settled down somewhat, demand for workover rigs remains low. “I found myself twiddling my thumbs too much, and I have to stay busy,” Moncla says. “That’s when I

making money, you can bet that they’re pummeling the service companies. For towns like Lafayette or Houma to recover, which are service oriented, it takes at least $75 a barrel for us to ask oil companies for a price increase. What has frustrated me for decades is the incredibly poor job that the oil and gas industry has done in promoting itself nationally. All the while, we’re demonized by mainstream media. I wish the majors would tout all that we do in nonstop national campaign efforts. Any best practices you would like to share?

Treating our people like family and making sure we treat them fairly. That was the key to all our successes. After starting our barge business over, we had to hire more than 200

people and our former employees jumped right over without any hesitation. And as we grew to 622 employees in 2014, all of those were mostly ex-Moncla employees. What do you find most rewarding about your line of work?

We’re proud to furnish the cheapest liquid in the world. Just think about the geology it takes to find it, the expense that goes into pulling it out of the ground, the logistics of transporting it, etc. Then to be able to ship it around the world so cheaply … I’m proud of that. The world is addicted to oil, although most people don’t realize the benefits of its byproducts. You can’t get plastic without drilling and producing oil and natural gas. Nobody is going to drill wells just to produce plastic. 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  15

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

A DVE R TI S E ME N T

BROWN EAGLE’S

Cutline

[ BROWN EAGLE ] Helping Louisiana chemical manufacturers soar TODAY, MOST PEOPLE think of logistics as sending an envelope from one place to another or having a package that was ordered online delivered to their home or business. To industrial and manufacturing sites, finished products logistics starts at the packaging line and ends with the customer. Plus, what’s being sent from one place to another usually weighs hundreds or thousands of pounds and is being delivered to locations all over the world. What may surprise people most, however, is that there’s a company here in Baton Rouge that’s providing multinational Fortune 500 chemical manufacturers with best-in-class logistics solutions. It’s Brown Eagle. Though the company could be considered one of the city’s best kept secrets, Brown Eagle is at the forefront of providing innovative 3PL and 4PL logistics solutions for chemical manufacturers in Louisiana and across America. The company operates projects and supplies everything from endto-end logistics project management to a single forklift driver. Brown Eagle also manages over 600,000 square feet of warehouse space across six sites in the Capital Region, providing contract warehouse operations, dedicated storage solutions and public storage options to clients whether they need to store one pallet or thousands.

“Our pitch to prospective clients is pretty straightforward,” says CEO Lela Mae Wilkes. “Their core competency is not packaging, warehousing and shipping— their core competency is making the product. Brown Eagle has the people, systems

and expertise to package the product and get it to the customer while the client can focus on making the best product they can.” This approach has worked well as Brown Eagle has developed long-lasting relationships with some of the chemical indus-

try’s top companies. In fact, Brown Eagle has an average client tenure of 28 years. “Being locally owned and managed lets us respond to our clients’ needs quickly,” says Lela Mae. “That responsiveness and our expertise has enabled us to double sales and employees, as well as triple our number of new clients over the past five years. This is a strong testament to our ability to customize services to our clients’ increasingly complex and global needs.” While speed is important, safety and accuracy are Brown Eagle’s passion. Brown Eagle recently completed 2.4 million man hours without a lost-time incident, dating to 2014, and has a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of zero for four of the past five years. The company also touts a shipping accuracy rate of 99.999 percent with one location going an amazing 41 years without an error or customer complaint. Brown Eagle’s president, Billy Bellefontaine, gives credit to the company’s focus on work processes and training. “I met Lela Mae in my previous life as Supply Chain Technology Director at DOW. Her safety and performance achievements are elite at any level,” says Billy. “Brown Eagle was ahead of the curve on the adoption and development of standardized processes in the logistics industry. Continuous

PRIMARY PRODUCT/SERVICE: Logistics labor services, chemical/commodity packaging, 4PL, warehousing and distribution services TOP EXECUTIVES: Lela Mae Wilkes, Chief Executive Officer; William “Billy” Bellefontaine, President; Ronnie Anderson, Vice President of Operations; Lynne Williams, Office Manager YEAR FOUNDED: 1968 • PHONE: 225.769.1111 • WEBSITE: browneagle.com

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LOGISTICS SUCCESS

A DVERTISEMEN T

FROM THE OWNER Brown Eagle has achieved the safety milestone of a TRIR of ZERO for 4 of the last 5 years! We owe this achievement to the hard-working women and men of Brown Eagle, who have worked relentlessly to LELA MAE WILKES achieve this goal. These are the frontline workers of OWNER the logistics workforce who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week packaging, warehousing and shipping our clients’ products all over the globe. Our clients’ products are used to feed the world, assemble and power our vehicles, produce building materials, clothing and all sorts of other consumer goods. Brown Eagle would not have achieved today’s success without the strong, diverse leadership of the women and men serving on the front line of supervision and management. Many of us have worked together for decades, growing as a team for 20, 30 and even 40 years! We cannot say thank you enough to our clients, who have supported Brown Eagle as a woman-owned business. We are especially grateful for their support and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing us with protective equipment and allowing us to socially distance on the production line, our clients have led the charge in the areas of safety, health, quality and environmental stewardship. The Louisiana chemical industry is the backbone of our state’s economy. Brown Eagle has been fortunate to not only be a participant, but an important player in this industry. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for our company.

Brown Eagle is an award-winning company. In 2019, it won the coveted “Supplier of the Year Award” from the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South, and in 2020, it was recognized for its focus on safety and was named one of LWCC’s “Safest 70 for 2020.”

development and improvement of our processes and systems allow us to outperform competitors today and has set the stage for greater growth.” One of the keys to Brown Eagle’s success is communicating “why” following procedures perfectly is important. “Early on, we had a workforce that mostly had military experience and would do their job just as they were shown. Today, we take it a step further and teach why the worker needs to perform each step in a procedure,” says Lela Mae. “Our training incorporates the potential consequences of process variation of each and every step.” Behind this unwavering commitment to work process and training is a genuine concern for employees. No one shows this more than Lela Mae herself. Despite the demands of running a large company, she relishes the opportunity to recognize and celebrate her employees’ achievements. “I look forward to COVID ending so I can start visiting our project sites again,”

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she says. “Our employees take pride in reaching safety, quality and production milestones and I like to honor them in person because there’s nothing like seeing the smile on someone’s face when they’re being recognized for a job well done.” To better serve their clients’ needs and with an eye towards growth, Brown Eagle bought the former Baton Rouge Beer Agency warehouse in 2017. The 110,000-square-foot warehouse and office facility on Airline Highway now houses their headquarters and solids (powders, pellets and flakes) transfer and packaging systems with a capacity greater than 600,000 lbs./ day. Looking forward, the Brown Eagle team will continue to provide innovative and best-in-class logistics solutions to manufacturers across the United States and are excited to explore acquisition opportunities in the e-commerce space in larger markets. “We’re in a great position to help clients soar in 2021 and beyond,” Lela Mae says.

HIGHLIGHTS 1968

Brown Eagle takes off: The company is founded on the innovative concept of contracting logistics for chemical manufacturing companies.

1977

Blue skies ahead: Lela Mae Wilkes joins as controller and helps Brown Eagle grow to more than 500 employees working on projects across the Gulf South.

2014

A bird in the hand: Wilkes purchases Brown Eagle making it a 100% women-owned company.

2017

Spreading its wings: Brown Eagle expands with the purchase and renovation of their 110,000 square foot headquarters, warehouse and packaging facility.

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COVER STORY

ON THE PATH: In Louisiana, momentum for renewable energy was already building—irrespective of regulations.

The Energy Evolution How will Louisiana fare? BY SAM BARNES

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DON KADAIR

“We’re seeing that sustainability goals provide us with a competitive advantage. We try to hire the best and brightest, then direct that horsepower toward solving climate change problems.” TIM HARRIS, site manager, Eastman Taminco’s plant in St. Gabriel

goals comes from industry, not federal initiatives or environmental agendas. “Globally, the U.S. has been the odd man out and a lot of people were disappointed that the Trump administration didn’t take a more proactive business approach to promoting renewable energy,” Dismukes says. Tim Harris, site manager at Eastman Taminco’s plant in St. Gabriel, is not particularly concerned about new environmental regulations, since his company already shares Biden’s net-zero emissions goal. “We’re seeing that sustainability goals provide us with a competitive advantage,” Harris says. “We try to hire the best and brightest, then direct that horsepower toward solving climate change problems. We feel this lines up well with the Biden administration’s agenda.” Harris, who also serves on the boards of the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance and Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance, says his plant is in the process of reducing energy consumption through regenerative heat exchangers and a modernized control system as part

of its current $70 million expansion project. THE JOBS TEST Change is coming, and it could become painful for a traditional oil and gas company that doesn’t embrace a hybrid energy model. To survive, they must adapt and evolve. “At some point, you’re going to see a lot of re-configurations of the ‘majors,’ where they’re going to be getting out of some assets and doubling down on others,” Dismukes says. “They’ll also be entering into strategic relationships and mergers to create new companies.” He, too, doubts the wisdom of federal involvement in the process, equating it to putting the cart before the horse. The hard truth is that job losses will be inevitable if traditional fuel sources aren’t part of the mix. “There are some people who think you can simply switch to these alternative forms of energy and they’re ready to go,” he adds. “Can you scale that up to 30,000 jobs? That’s not going to happen.” Port Fourchon Executive Director Chett Chiasson says the transition

needs to be smart, calculated, planned and executed in an intelligent manner. “We understand that there’s a transition afoot,” Chiasson says. “We can do it, and Louisiana and our area want to be a part of that transition, but they have to understand that it can’t happen with the flip of a switch or the snap of a finger. “There’s hardly a product that we enjoy that isn’t impacted by petroleum products,” he adds. “We need to recognize that and understand that oil and gas production is critically important for the world and the U.S. … even as we transition. We can’t even make the solar panels or wind farms without components made with petroleum products.” Don Pearson, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development, says he expects LED to play a vital role in supporting all of industry—including legacy oil and gas producers—during the “inevitable” transition. He’s particularly excited about the potential of LNG to provide cleaner energy, create local jobs and inject money into local economies. Facilities such as Drax Biomass in Port Allen accomplish some of the same objectives by using wood fiber as a renewable energy source. Pearson says there is noticeable increased interest in projects that

COURTESY DRAX BIOMASS

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I

t’s a hotly debated subject, to be sure, but most would agree that a move toward alternative forms of power, net-zero emissions and other environmental goals is quickly accelerating. The COVID-19 pandemic bears some of the blame, as it temporarily obliterated the world’s demand for oil and gas. That was followed in January by a flurry of presidential Executive Orders intending to force industry in a greener direction. “Things were already changing, but now they’re really changing,” says David Dismukes, executive director of LSU’s Center for Energy Studies. “Companies are transforming their entire business model—pipelines, oil and gas, electric power, you name it.” However, Louisiana industry leaders fear that any federal action that forces the issue, without consideration for market dynamics, could result in catastrophic job losses. After all, the momentum was already building—irrespective of regulations. “There aren’t a lot of barriers to renewable energy anymore,” Dismukes says. “There are plenty of deals getting made and there’s more interest on the part of the major players. Nobody is forcing them to do that because it makes good business sense.” Case in point, BP Oil is transforming itself into an integrated energy company, in part through its Lightsource BP partnership, and becoming a major player in the world solar market. More recently, Shell purchased a majority stake in Simply Blue Energy’s Emerald Project, a floating wind farm in the Celtic Sea off the south coast of Ireland. It’s the latest in a string of new offshore wind ventures for European oil majors. “ Those aren’t flash-in-the-pan things,” Dismukes says. “Those are real business ventures.” Back at home, Louisiana is becoming one of the hottest markets for solar development and has one of the highest dollar volumes of announced solar projects in the U.S., according to Louisiana Economic Development. LED expects about 175 MW of new solar power to come online in 2021. Wind power initiatives and biofuels investments are also gaining traction. Much of the pent-up demand for renewables and net-zero emissions

GOING GREEN: Drax Biomass in Port Allen uses wood fiber as a renewable energy source.

have a “double-bottom line”—they’re both financially promising and have a lower carbon footprint. Louisiana, in fact, could become “ground zero” for projects that target carbon capture and sequestration. “We have a unique geology that enables us to capture and store carbon dioxide over the long-term,” he adds. “We also have the infrastructure to move carbon dioxide to the sequestration site through pipelines. If you were going to put together a project, those are the things you would look for.” 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  19

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In its role, LED strives to attract and reinforce a diverse portfolio of businesses and create jobs in the process—with an emphasis on encouraging investments by existing businesses since some 60% of new job creation comes from expansions. A big portion of that is in the energy market. “We have always been a very dominate player in powering the nation,” Pearson says. “We’re the number two provider of oil and gas to the U.S., so that will remain an important job creator for us.” Ava Dejoie, secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, says she has no doubt that the state’s skilled laborers could easily transition to new job roles when the time comes. From her perspective, they already have the essential skillsets applicable to any industry—good work ethic, problem solving skills, punctuality and so on. “Whether in the petrochemical industry or the green sector, these basic skills are transferable,” she adds. “They also know what it’s like to work in an industrial setting. For example, we have incredible machinists here that support the offshore industry. When the oil industry goes down, they start looking for something else to do. One particular company began making couplings for Coast Guard ships, and for the airline industry. “Machining is still machining, whether it’s for offshore or for a solar panel or whatever,” Dejoie adds. Through LWC’s Incumbent Worker Training Program, the training and re-training of existing workers will enable companies to pivot more easily and take advantage of new opportunities. 1012industryreport.com

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DON KADAIR

BIG MONEY: Louisiana is becoming one of the hottest markets for solar development and has one of the highest dollar volumes of announced solar projects in the U.S.

LOW COST: Jeff Cantin, a board member of Gulf States Renewable Energy Industries Association, says the innovative Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program is growing in popularity, particularly among commercial and industrial companies.

Green gets real

Excitement builds as momentum for renewable energy and net-zero grows. BY SAM BARNES

I

n many ways, growing market demand and changing attitudes are already driving a major move toward “greener” energy sources in Louisiana–irrespective of governmental pressure. Case in point: Grön Fuels LLC announced in November 2020 that it intends to build a $9.2 billion renewable fuels complex on Port of Greater Baton Rouge property in Port Allen. The project leverages inherent strengths that Louisiana already possesses–availability of skilled labor, logistics and supply chain advantages and more–and showcases the role the port could potentially play in creating jobs in the brave new world of renewables. Built in stages over nine years, the project’s first phase would require a capital investment of more than $1.25 billion and create 340 new

direct jobs by 2024. It’s ultimately expected to produce up to 60,000 barrels per day of low-carbon renewable diesel, with an option to produce renewable jet fuel utilizing non-fossil feedstocks, including soybean oil, corn oil and animal fats. It’s all being driven by a growing appetite for the products that they’ll produce. “Louisiana’s core strengths in the field of building and operating plants that produce fuels and products for the world, coupled with its logistically advantaged deepwater location at the nexus of energy and agriculture, serve as the launching point for a new ‘high tech’ transition of the region into the next generation of energy,” says Dan Shapiro, managing partner of Grön Fuels’ sponsor, Fidelis Infrastructure of Houston. The company intends to use local businesses to assist in the delivery,

operations and maintenance of the facility. “In regards to low-carbon fuels and green hydrogen, we’ll have significant competitive advantages,” says Bengt Jarlsjo, co-founder of Fidelis. “We plan to eventually add carbon sequestration and a soybean crusher to make the site more vertically integrated and give it a net-negative carbon footprint by 2025.” The crusher would use locally produced soybeans and canola, and potentially create a booming new market for local farmers. Jarlsjo says the skillsets needed to operate the plant mesh nicely with the local workforce. “We’ll need newly-trained process technicians, but we’ll also need people who have done this for years,” Jarlsjo says. “There’s nothing that equals the experience gained in running a refinery.” After completion of the total 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  21

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ISTOCK

SEEKING NET-ZERO Chas Roemer of Baton Rouge says renewable forms of energy can’t do it alone, however, as worldwide demand for energy continues to increase. In fact, the gap between traditional forms of energy sources and renewables is growing, not shrinking. Roemer says goals to reduce emissions must include existing forms of energy. That’s why he plans to build the first net-zero emissions LNG plant in the state–G2 Net-Zero LNG–along the Calcasieu Ship Channel, just three miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. “We’re going to achieve zero emissions from the wellhead to the back of our facility,” says Roemer, chairman of the company. “It’s technologically possible and it can be profitable. I can produce LNG at a per unit cost below most of my competitors.” He expects to break ground on the project’s first phase within two years, with the production of net-zero byproducts some 36 to 48 months later. The company will initially produce various net-zero byproducts that can be sold to upstream gas providers, the petrochemical industry, maritime owners and others. “If I can provide them with net-zero feed gasses and feed stock, it helps them lower their carbon footprint as well,” he adds. The first phase of work will ultimately be assimilated into the entire LNG facility some five to six years later. Since the initial $200 million phase doesn’t require Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, approval, it could save the company

makes it possible for owners of commercial, industrial, and other nonresidential properties to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, water conservation, seismic strengthening and renewable energy projects. C-PACE authorizes municipalities or counties to work with private capital providers to provide upfront financing to commercial property owners for qualifying improvement projects, and to collect the repayment through annual or semi-annual assessments on the property’s tax bill. The C-PACE financing term may extend up to 30 years in some jurisGrön Fuels’ proposed $9.2 billion renewable fuels complex on Port of Greater Baton Rouge dictions, resulting in utility and other property in Port Allen cost savings that typically exceed the a significant amount of time. “That SOLAR SURGES amount of the assessment payment. allows me to start much sooner and Louisiana’s solar industry has Jeff Cantin, a member of GSgenerate revenue much sooner,” Rotaken some hits in recent years, but REIA’s board, says C-PACE emer says. It also makes it easier for interest is growing in large-scale programs are growing in popularity, G2 Net-Zero to get financing, since solar applications by area enerparticularly in Texas, leading to an it won’t need long-term contracts at gy providers. That has prompted explosion of solar projects in Housleast in the beginning. organizations such as the Gulf ton, Dallas and other metro areas. He expects there to be a blend States Renewable Energy Industries “It essentially enables a business of short- and long-term contracts Association, or GSREIA, to shift its owner to obtain easy long-term before the project is finished. “I’ve advocacy agenda from the residential financing for a project based upon got more than one revenue stream, to the commercial side of things. a property tax mechanism,” Cantin which gives an investor some conToday, the group is comprised of says. “If you’re in East Baton Rouge fidence that I’m not relying on one some 20 members, many of whom Parish, for example, you would use source,” he adds. “What really helps pursue large-scale solar farm projects a C-PACE district to collect in the me, however, is my net-zero capain the electrical utility market. GSsame manner as property taxes. bilities. There’s trillions of dollars of REIA Executive Director Stephen There’s no cost for the state governmoney looking for ways to invest in Wright says costs have come down ment or local entity to implement green energy right now.” significantly in recent years, making these programs, and it makes it G2 Net-Zero has spent the last solar more appealing to business easier for funders and owners of such year weighing its options, given owners. His group actively promotes projects to connect.” the uncertainty created by the renewable industry-friendly policy GSREIA is also pursuing legislaCOVID-19 pandemic. “We’re out and economic development across tion that would enable third-party securing additional financing of Louisiana and Mississippi. power purchase agreements. In that about $300 million and are in adThe organization is currently backscenario, a commercial owner would vanced conversations with strategic ing initiatives at the legislative level hire a developer to build a solar farm partners and customers,” Roemer in Louisiana, one of which would on its property, then have them sell says. establish a functioning Commercial the power back to them rather than He believes his project will be the Property Assessed Clean Energy going through the traditional power first net-zero LNG export project Program. C-PACE is an innovative grid. under development in the world and financing structure that “That would have will be the first to achieve net-zero been unthinkable 10 SUN POWER: LNG production. At full capacity, years ago, but Wal Mart Louisiana’s solar industry has taken G2 Net-Zero plans to capture more is currently planning a some hits in recent than 4 million tons of carbon dioxide nationwide rollout of years, but interest is growing in large-scale on an annual basis. that,” Wright says. “It’s solar applications by “People who aren’t doing what currently allowed in 26 area energy providers. I’m doing will continue having a states and would go a hard time,” he adds. “The market is long way for industry to looking at alternatives. A movement achieve its own renewable toward renewables is being promptgoals. A lot of nonprofits ed by customers demanding clean and government agencies energy. And if our goal is to provide are already doing this.” affordable clean energy to the world, It’s an idea electrical I can do that.” providers oppose. COURTESY GRÖN FUELS

project, expected by 2030, the Grön site would become one of the largest renewable fuels complexes in the world and bring an estimated 1,025 new direct jobs to the Baton Rouge area. CSRS of Baton Rouge is currently assisting with due diligence work, such as permitting, wetlands reviews, community relations, program management, Disadvantage Business Enterprise goals and more. They’re also helping with site layout and some preliminary engineering. As for now, the project is waiting for a final investment decision. Jarlsjo and Shapiro expect contractors to begin moving dirt at the site later this year.

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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“We have industry, jobs and natural resources here, so we could become a microcosm of how to manage this problem around the world, given the right opportunity.” DON KADAIR

TYLER GRAY, president and general counsel, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association

LOUISIANA:

World leader on climate change?

Industry partners in Louisiana working on initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could help create a small-scale template for global solutions. By SAM BARNES

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L

ouisiana could become a world leader in the mitigation of climate change–albeit on a very small scale. Industry leaders say some of the ideas coming out of the recently created Louisiana Climate Initiatives Task Force might one day serve as a template for deployable global solutions. Comprised of industry, government leaders, technical experts and academia, the task force just met for the first time in November 2020 but has an aggressive February 2022 deadline for making recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Along the way, they hope to advance Louisiana’s economic and energy profile.  Tyler Gray, president and general counsel of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association in Baton Rouge, says the task force is

essentially “a state-oriented group dealing with a global problem” and provides a platform for moving initiatives forward. “Louisiana has the opportunity to figure this out,” Gray says. “The underlying fact is that we have industry, jobs and natural resources here, so we could become a microcosm of how to manage this problem around the world, given the right opportunity.” According to its stated goals, the task force will ultimately lay out “strategies and recommendations to reduce emissions through an inclusive, balanced approach that recognizes there are differing opinions on the best ways to reduce the worst impacts of climate change while preserving economic competitiveness.” Some of the recommendations could eventually require legislative action. LMOGA has three of its own staff members serving on task force 1012industryreport.com

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“It’s going to be industry that drives [a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions], because that’s where the ability to change is going to come from.”

committees, each with its own agenda and reporting deadlines. They’re discussing such things as legal issues around climate equity, net-zero emissions, renewables, hydrocarbons, carbon capture, utilization and storage, methane reduction, monitoring and pipeline infrastructure. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pearson says his role on the task force is multifaceted, but he ultimately hopes to encourage job-creating investments. “We need to be able to look over the horizon to identify new areas of potential growth,” Pearson says. “When we talk about a plant that creates renewable diesel, or there’s an announcement around an ammonia operation that produces a lower carbon footprint … these are all things that we want to optimize.”

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Many member companies of the Louisiana Chemical Association already plan to cut emissions in half by 2030.

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DON KADAIR

A REAL PROBLEM One of the initial discussions coming out of the group: a growing consensus around a carbon tax. A white paper published by LSU’s Center for Energy Studies suggests that carbon tax revenues could advance CCUS and reduce CO2 emissions. A carbon tax prices CO2 emissions equal to its environmental damages and is becoming a likely tool for Louisiana and 24 other states for reaching net-zero carbon emissions. Written by LSU Professor Brittany Tarufelli, the paper reviews the potential of utilizing carbon

Greg Bowser, president and CEO, Louisiana Chemical Association

tax revenues to fund the research, development and implementation of CCUS. “Policymakers have largely overlooked the possibility of recycling carbon tax revenues to incentivize and reduce the costs of CCUS,” Tarufelli says in a prepared statement. “This proposition would help emissions-intensive industry and smooth the transition to a lower-carbon economy.” With global energy consumption forecast to grow 50% by 2050, industry and policymakers are being pressured to address the challenges of meeting rising energy demands while reducing CO2 emissions. “Advancing CCUS through carbon tax revenues would enable Louisiana’s emissionsintensive industries to meet CO2 reduction goals without drastic cuts in production,” Tarufelli says. “This approach would also reduce the tax burden on these industries and ultimately save consumers money.”  While LMOGA

hasn’t taken a position on the carbon tax issue, Gray has concerns about its impacts on smaller oil and gas companies. “It would be great for Louisiana to look for ways to modernize its infrastructure and manufacturing, and incentivize that development,” he adds. “As states become more opportunistic when it comes to modernizing infrastructure, you’re always going to want to make it attractive to Louisiana, so what does that look like? How can you make it more at attractive? Incentives always help … tax credits always help.” LMOGA member companies have already made great strides over the years in dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Gray says. Regardless of what the task force decides, he feels it’s critical that companies be given adequate time to process and prepare for any new initiatives. Greg Bowser, president and CEO of the Louisiana Chemical Association, agrees. Several LCA staffers are involved on the task force committee and have been meeting behind the scenes since the group first convened. “If this is actually going to happen, the science has to catch up to it,” Bowser says. “It’s going to be

industry that drives it, because that’s where the ability to change is going to come from. If you look around, a number of members are doing it right now. Some of the things they’re proposing for reducing emissions, they’re doing it right now. Many of our member companies already plan to cut emissions in half by 2030.” Bowser says the task force has an ambitious agenda with an equally ambitious timeline. Incentives will undoubtedly be a part of the process. “Once they come up with a game plan in how we move in that direction, from a regulatory standpoint, then how do we monitor and encourage that? Do you build in incentives to get them to do that and do it quicker? “Also, what do you do with those companies who are ahead of the game and have already reduced emissions. Do they get any credit for that?” A year ago, Bowser says, LCA began working on its own climate change policy, which has since been incorporated into the organization’s long-term vision. “We took a number of different elements, and identified what we were going to do,” he adds. “We found that a lot of our members were already doing a lot to reduce emissions without any mandates.” 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  25

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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOUISIANA MADE: Aries Marine Corp. of Lafayette and Falcon Global LLC of Galliano actively helped develop the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm at Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. Additionally, Metairie-based Keystone Engineering provided design assistance and Houma’s Gulf Island Fabrication built foundation jackets and piling.

Picking up speed Offshore wind gains traction as technology catches up and wind leases become desirable. By SAM BARNES

D

aniel Hogan hopes to operate the first wind lease in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a bold step, but the president and COO of Houston-based Werrus AquaMarine sees the writing on the wall. The oil and gas company’s four lease blocks off the coast of Louisiana, totaling nearly 16,000 acres, “have been directly impacted by the current administration’s push away from typical hydrocarbon sources,” Hogan says. “It’s going to be difficult for us to continue as we have in the Gulf, especially on the shelf where we operate.” Pointing to federal headwinds against traditional oil and gas development, Werrus AquaMarine is taking a decidedly unique approach

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by proposing that it be allowed to give up hydrocarbons in exchange for an offshore wind lease. In the process, Hogan would forfeit the company’s South Timbalier 267 block–with an audited 4 million barrels of recoverable hydrocarbons– in exchange for wind leases and federal grant and loan assistance. “The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has already awarded wind leases off the East Coast but hasn’t set up a wind lease sale in Louisiana,” Hogan says. He’s met with a handful of Louisiana legislators who are interested in his idea and has begun drafting a proposal to Gov. John Bel Edwards. He might find a sympathetic ear, as Edwards himself recently requested that BOEM consider wind leases in the Gulf.

In November, the governor asked BOEM for help in building a task force to coordinate leasing proposals. The state is already anticipating 4,400 jobs and $445 million in economic output from a single 600-megawatt wind farm, based upon modeling by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Others are waking up to the potential of offshore wind power, as technology makes the alternative energy source more practical. Port Fourchon Executive Director Chett Chiasson thinks that port could play a major role in the transition, as many coastal businesses are already tapping into the market. Aries Marine Corp. of Lafayette and Falcon Global LLC of Galliano actively helped develop the nation’s first commercial offshore wind

farm at Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. Additionally, Metairie-based Keystone Engineering provided design assistance and Houma’s Gulf Island Fabrication built foundation jackets and piling. “The people who work in the Gulf of Mexico and service the oil and gas industry can service just about any industry that’s producing offshore,” Chiasson says. “It doesn’t matter what it is–wind farms, fish farms, SpaceX, what have you–the people here have the expertise to provide the services, and possess the fabrication, installation and service skills to get the job done.” He sees enormous potential for revamping and converting abandoned oil rigs into wind farm platforms. If that happens, there could be “less decommissioning and more re-com1012industryreport.com

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Transportation Banking to support Baton Rouge

Danny Montelaro 225.388.2701 Banking products and services, including lending, financial risk management, and treasury and payment solutions, are offered by Regions Bank. Deposit products are offered by Regions Bank, Member FDIC. © 2021 Regions Bank. All rights reserved. Regions Securities is a registered service mark of Regions Bank and is used under license for the corporate and investment banking services of subsidiaries of Regions Financial Corporation. Regions, the Regions logo and Regions Securities are registered trademarks of Regions Bank and are used by its affiliates under license. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank. Investment, Annuities and Insurance Products Are Not FDIC Insured | Are Not Bank Guaranteed | May Lose Value Are Not Deposits | Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency

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Are Not a Condition of Any Banking Activity

“It doesn’t matter what it is–wind farms, fish farms, SpaceX, what have you–the people here have the expertise to provide the services, and possess the fabrication, installation and service skills to get the job done.”

have the capabilities,” he adds. “That means jobs and long-term workforce demand.” Chiasson is a member of GNO Inc.’s Wind Alliance, which met for the first time in January with hopes of turning offshore initiatives into reality. GNO Inc. President PORT FOURCHON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and CEO Michael CHETT CHIASSON Hecht says the fledgling 40-member group is comprised of academia, missioning” of the rigs, he says. designers, port officials, state and While there are some concerns federal officials and others, and has to be hammered out–the ability of some bold but specific goals: to the wind turbines to handle hurritransform Louisiana into an offshore cane force winds and migratory bird wind manufacturing hub and perpatterns–there are steps that can petuate the deployment of deepwabe taken to mitigate those issues, ter windfarms in the Gulf. he adds. Another challenge would Hecht hopes to turn south Louibe getting the power to the elecsiana into a true market leader, while trical grid, but that would create a advancing manufacturing, energy considerable amount of work and development and environmental jobs in the process. “There again, we leadership. He says states from 1012industryreport.com

18-31 CoverStory.indd 27

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4/6/21 1:38 PM


DON KADAIR DON KADAIR

28  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

18-31 CoverStory.indd 28

1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 1:39 PM


Issue Date: Fall 2020 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Texas to Florida will eventually need to promulgate rules for wind energy in the Gulf, as they advocated for Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA, funding for coastal restoration projects. The Wind Alliance also has some short-term tactical objectives, such as the creation of an offshore wind database this spring. The database would provide vital information for potential wind power-related businesses hoping to locate here. Still, many of its goals are long-term, as deployable wind power in the Gulf is a good five to 10 years away from reality, Hecht says. “We’re hoping the federal government moves on this quickly,” he adds. “So far, the industry has been ready to start, but because of federal delays in the previous administration we haven’t seen much activity. Obviously, that could now change.” TECHNOLOGY HAS THE ANSWER Advances in technology are making Gulf wind power more practical. Perhaps Louisiana’s biggest ace in the hole, LM Wind Power (a unit of GE Renewable Energy) is operating its Technology Center Americas facility on the NASA Michoud campus outside of New Orleans, where it develops and tests new techniques for designing and building wind turbine blades. The blades manufactured by the company are JAMES MARTIN, director, over a football field LM Wind Technology Center long and are able Americas, on wind load tests at the NASA Michoud campus to capture more outside New Orleans that wind and generate simulate a sustained, sufficient energy 200 mph wind even at moderate wind speeds. They can also manage hurricane force winds by re-positioning the blades. James Martin, director at the center, says his team of engineers, project managers and designers are developing ways to reduce the cost

“We torturetest these structures to see how they perform in a 50-year storm.”

1012industryreport.com

18-31 CoverStory.indd 29

THE SMART MOVE IS LIVINGSTON PARISH

CONVENIENT LOCATION GREAT SCHOOLS COMPETITIVE LAND & INCENTIVES BUILD, MOVE, GROW OR EXPAND

11640 Burgess Ave. | Walker, LA 70785 225.686.3982 | info@ledc.net | WWW.LEDC.NET @LivingstonEDC | @Livingston_EDC 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  29

4/6/21 1:39 PM


Issue Date: July Ad2 proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Derek Gardes, John Segura, Partner

Kyle Hebert, Partner

OUR GOAL IS TO ASSEMBLE THE RIGHT TEAM TO BUILD A SUSTAINABLE PROJECT THAT FINISHES WITH LONG-LASTING RELATIONSHIPS.

TRINEBUILDERS.COM 437 PHILIP ST., NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130 (504) 399-9960

30  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

18-31 CoverStory.indd 30

COURTESY LM WIND TECHNOLOGY CENTER AMERICAS

Partner

BIG AND BOLD: The blades manufactured by LM Wind are over a football field long and are able to capture more wind and generate sufficient energy even at moderate wind speeds. They can also manage hurricane force winds by re-positioning the blades.

of energy through more powerful blades and more efficient air foils, and are collaborating with local industry and academia in the process. “We’re focusing much of our work on the offshore experience,” Martin says. “That’s a large part of what’s being talked about in the U.S. at the moment.” Martin predicts Block Island was merely “the first marker in the ground,” with a huge pipeline of offshore wind infrastructure to be built between 2023 to 2030. LM and GE are leveraging best practices from across the globe, then applying them locally. As a member of GNO Inc.’s Wind Alliance, Martin provides technical and practical input regarding infrastructure requirements and necessary partnerships. He says it will be challenging, but possible, to design a system that functions well in the low wind speeds of the Gulf. “We’re accountable for the blade technology, so we’ll determine how this aerodynamic

profile needs to perform in different wind conditions,” he says. “In the Gulf, it needs to be efficient at the average wind speed to keep the run time where it needs to be. It also needs to be strong enough to take a Category 5 hurricane.” The wind load tests at Michoud simulate a sustained, 200 mph wind. “We torture-test these structures to see how they perform in a 50-year storm,” Martin adds. They also need to have adequate lifespans to “make the business case successful.” LM Wind already has an impressive track record in the offshore market. Its latest project supports GE’s Haliade-X, the most powerful offshore turbine in the world. LM Wind Power, which designs and manufactures the blades and turbine, expects “pretty strong demand” in the U.S. The Haliade-X is widely considered to be the most efficient ocean-based wind platform and should make offshore wind a more cost-effective and competitive source of clean energy. 1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 1:40 PM


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

EXECUTIVE

OUTLOOK

2020 was a year for the record books, but for better or worse, south Louisiana’s industrial economy continued to move forward. We invited industry and construction leaders to share their organizations’ perspectives on the challenges and opportunities they anticipate in 2021 andIssue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #3 Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #3 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. •the AD WILLlessons RUN AS IS unless approvalhave or final revisions • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions they learned in the past year. are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

BRANDON MUNN PRESIDENT Bartlett Group

BARTLETT GROUP IS poised to take on 2021 with exceptional operational leadership at all levels. As a company, we not only survived 2020, but performed at a level that has set us up for success in 2021 and beyond. Internal promotions of several key project managers, and the cross training of many other team members to prepare them for new and expanded roles, is sure to bring our company many future successes. Our safety mantra of “zero incidents” will remain the chief goal throughout the year to meet or exceed a TRIR of 0.02. Our team will continue to provide safe, quality work execution to maintain our status as the most-valued service provider for our clients. Expansions in service offerings and facilities will be a contributing factor in preserving that stature. Bartlett recently added a refractory division to augment our soft-craft service offerings, is in the process of transitioning our West TX facility into a union fabrication yard, and is opening a refractory and mechanical fabrication facility in the Baytown, Texas area mid-year. With all of these factors in play, Bartlett is well positioned for steady growth and achievement over the coming years. For more information on the Bartlett Group’s line of industrial services, please visit www.bartlettgrp.com or call (855) 804-4443.

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31-33 Executive Outlook.indd 31

This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

CHAS ROEMER

CEO, Chas Roemer Innovations & Chairman, G2 Net-Zero LNG

I’M EXCITED ABOUT the future. I believe the choices Louisiana makes in the next 10 years can save the world. At Chas Roemer Innovations we intend to affect those choices. We are focused on solutions. Period. We don’t believe problem solvers wait for perfect or more predictable times. They set the pace. Now is absolutely the perfect era for risk-takers, innovators and good ideas. Our G2 Net-Zero LNG project in Cameron Parish is a perfect example. We will let philosophers and politicians fight over how folks are supposed to choose between the environment and jobs. We know that debate is needless and beside the point. In Louisiana, we need to be greener AND we need well-paying jobs that promise career advancement. Our project will be the world’s first Net-Zero emissions LNG plant, not just capturing carbons but transforming them into cleaner products world markets are demanding. I promise you the technology we are utilizing will deliver a safer, smarter, less expensive, and more profitable energy source internationally, and will allow Louisiana and the U.S. to remain the leader in providing the cleanest possible version of a natural resource we believe is far too valuable to ignore.

10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  31

4/6/21 11:40 AM


Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #1

Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #1

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

NHI NGUYEN FOUNDER Agilify

“THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE” has become cliché, but seems truer in 2021 than ever before. Managing that change by creating predictable outcomes is at the core of why I founded Agilify back in 2016. As a minority woman-owned boutique consultancy, we focus on delivering strategy, process, technology, and training services across the Gulf South. Our mission is to create a culture of inclusion, transparency, and accountability for our employees and client partners by delivering predictable outcomes that are valuable to their growth.  And while we have seen all industries impacted by the rapid changes in this economic, social, and political climate, we noticed the industrial segment in our regions were either in feast or famine mode. On closer examination, we saw that our client partners who had made strategic investments in eliminating waste and its corresponding cost through process and technology overhaul were able to thrive by quickly adapting their business approach to new opportunities.  I truly believe this type of organizational agility is a necessity in today’s ever-changing landscape and we are passionate about helping our client partners achieve it. Please accept my personal invitation to get acquainted as it’s our honor to help you transform your approach.

Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

JAY G. HARDMAN, P.E. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Port of Greater Baton Rouge

THE PORT OF GREATER BATON ROUGE has been fortunate in our efforts to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Our tenants at the Port and port staff were successful in mitigating the effects of the virus on our maritime operations, which meant only occasional and minor interruptions of cargo movements. In 2020 the Port completed three major projects— an expansion of our shipping container storage capacity; delivery of a second custommade piece of equipment for transloading containers into and out of barges; and the opening of a $22 million railcar chambering yard on property south of the Intracoastal Waterway. Also, Grön Fuels, LLC announced that it intends to build a $9.2 billion renewable fuels complex at the Intracoastal Waterway site. The project would make the Port a hub for renewable diesel fuels and could eventually bring an estimated 1,025 new direct jobs to the Baton Rouge area. With such a positive outlook ahead, leadership at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge will collaboratively work with other port leaders in our state to help bring new industries and jobs to the whole of southeast Louisiana.

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31-33 Executive Outlook.indd 32

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

ART FAVRE

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Performance Contractors, Inc.

AS VACCINATIONS OVERCOME this pandemic, there are signs of positive economic movement in isolated industries. The speed at which Louisiana’s economy recovers will depend directly on how quickly our businesses can return to 100 percent capacity. Many of our industrial customers are seeing positive signs for demand in products and favorable pricing, which should produce the need for future industrial investment. It will be interesting to see if these industrial businesses decide to invest in Louisiana or other neighboring states. Unfortunately, over the last four years, many states have outperformed Louisiana in economic development of large industrial facilities being built at both existing facilities and new companies attracted to the state. In the last four years, we have seen a major business shift with our Louisiana revenues down over 60 percent, while our work in a single neighboring state is up nearly 250 percent. Companies like Performance Contractors are having to adapt to this shift due to current politics in our state. We are hopeful the state government will realize how important these industrial investments are to our overall economy and become more aggressive in attracting new opportunities to Louisiana. With our abundant resources, including a highly skilled, well trained Issue Date: Spring 2021 workforce, Ad proofwe#1stand ready to meet the • Please respond by and e-mailretain or fax with approval or minor revisions. challenges ouryour talent in Louisiana. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

RONNY DAIGLE PRESIDENT & CEO OneSource EHS

THE PAST YEAR has introduced significant concerns and new liabilities for employers. So, how can a company prevent COVID-19 exposure, manage risks, and protect their employees? Our new certification program, created in partnership with CORE Occupational Medicine, assists organizations in identifying and risk-ranking gaps in their programs, processes, procedures, and facility conditions to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Our platform provides the full spectrum of workplace health services to encompass the entire life cycle of the COVID-19 management process and is based on our experience from working with COVID-19 impacted facilities in an occupational medicine environment. Developed with the expertise of CORE’s medical doctors and OneSource’s Certified Safety Professionals and Certified Industrial Hygienists, our certification program combines the latest federal and state regulations, CDC, NIH, FDA, OSHA, applicable industry-specific guidelines, and industry best practices. This certification program provides businesses with the opportunity to be prepared for COVID-19 variants, reduce the risks of exposure, and become better protected against the threat, in order to establish a sustainable healthy and safe workplace. Our goal is to help companies become more productive and profitable by protecting their most valuable assets—their people, property, and profits.

1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 3:28 PM


Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #2

Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #2

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

ADVERTISING SECTION Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECTSPECIAL PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

BEN J. LEBLANC

PADMA VATSAVAI

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Patriot Construction & Industrial, LLC

2021 STARTED OFF strong for Patriot, building on the momentum we generated in the fourth quarter of 2020. We expect this to continue as several major projects along the Gulf Coast get the green light in the second half of the year. These projects provide opportunities for every area of our business. Patriot’s unique blend of capabilities includes site work, hydro excavation, concrete foundations, deep foundations, and marine construction and material handling services. We provide these services to an expanding base of customers in petrochemicals, power, pipelines, commercial development, coastal restoration, emergency response, and more. Based in Duson, LA, we have locations throughout South Louisiana and East Texas, including two in the Capital Region, a 25-acre facility at the Port of New Iberia, and our newest office in Beaumont, TX. Our centralized Gulf Coast location allows us to respond quickly to the needs of customers from Florida to Corpus Christi., TX. Going forward, we will continue to self-perform our work and deliver reliable results in safety, quality, and cost. We are also adding to our fleet of heavy equipment and investing in our team and processes with enhanced skillset training and project management tools. We look forward to serving our customers in the coming months and to finishing 2021 strong.

PRESIDENT Vinformatix

IN TODAY’S WORLD of evolving technology, increased interconnectivity and vast data generation, Vinformatix finds that many clients are in search of a competitive advantage for their business. And our data analytics service offering is designed to do just that where we assist our clients in leveraging the untapped knowledge and potential that is locked within their data storage systems. In listening to our client concerns during the height of the global pandemic, we identified an immense need for businesses to be more efficient and knowledgeable of daily operations, regardless of industry, sector or location. This is where our team’s ability to extract, transform and mine data for insights and produce compelling stories with data have paid dividends to our clients. Leveraging data analytics has enabled them to make data driven decisions supported by real-time dashboarding and reporting. Specifically, within the construction and healthcare sectors we have seen higher rates of adoption as these clients often receive high volume data from disparate systems that produce unique challenges in obtaining a consolidated view of the business. Our team embraces these challenges and helps to consolidate and aggregate data to provide a consolidated view of the business in one place. Our clients’ responses have been overwhelming and we look forward to helping our current and future clients achieve their desired business goals while simultaneously obtaining a competitive advantage.

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Exceptional service tailored around your business Modern fleet of vehicles and containers Friendly and professional on-site assistance Competitive, accurate and prompt payment

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31-33 Executive Outlook.indd 33

We have 22 locations across the Gulf Coast, including the following processing sites:

1

EMR Dallas, TX

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2 3

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EMR Brownsville (Int’l. Shipbreaking), TX

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EMR Amelia, LA

10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  33

4/6/21 11:40 AM


NEWS NEWS: LOGISTICS

Staying the course The Port of New Orleans returns to growth mode after a disturbing decline. PHOTOS BY DON KADAIR

34  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

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LAYING TRACK: The Port of New Orleans is expanding its rail yard for the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, used periodically by the petrochemical industry for product storage.

1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 1:45 PM


W

hen cruise ship traffic screeched to a halt and shipments dropped precipitously amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a sizeable chunk of the Port of New Orleans revenue stream instantly evaporated. It sent even bigger shockwaves through the local economy, since cruise passengers account for about 300,000 hotel room nights each year in the Crescent City. The pandemic literally shut everything down. “It was a bit of a blip in terms of our revenue trajectory,” says Port NOLA president and CEO Brandy Christian. “About 16 percent of our revenue comes from cruise traffic alone.” Compounding the pain: Shipping volumes also dropped by more than 20% compared to 2019, IN THE WORKS forcing the port to take a Projects planned or underway at the Port of New Orleans hard look at its expenses, along with its short- and • $100 million has been allocated to expand the Napoleon long-term plans. Avenue Container Terminal, inThe plastic resin market cluding the addition of four new suffered the biggest drop ship-to-shore in export traffic, although container gantry forest products, poulcranes, bringing total to nine and try and other were also expanding Port impacted. NOLA’s contain“When imports start er capacity to slowing down, vessels 1 million TEUs. don’t come to the port,” • Purchase of 1,100 acres from says Bobby Landry, the the St. Bernard Port for a longport’s vice president and planned, $1.5 billion second container ship terminal in Violet chief commercial officer. “That means they don’t • The Corps of Engineers is spending $130.7 million to propick up our exports … vide 50-plus-foot-deep Missisand that’s our bread and sippi River drafts butter. We’re primarily an for larger vessels, exporter.” including large Fortunately, Port Panamex-style ships NOLA’s fundamentals and long-term prospects remain unchanged, and shipping volumes have begun to return to preCOVID numbers. “If anything, COVID taught us the importance of getting goods onto 1012industryreport.com

34-45 NEWS.indd 35

grocery store shelves and into people’s homes,” Christian says. “It has led to a demand for greater flexibility in the supply chain, and that bodes well for regions such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge.” CONTAINERS ARE KING Looking ahead, port officials are most excited about projected growth in the container side of the business. Port NOLA’s most significant current investments, in fact, will prepare it for the expected surge. About $100 million has been allocated to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, and in December the port moved forward with the purchase of 1,100 acres from the St. Bernard Port for a longplanned, $1.5 billion second container ship terminal in Violet. “We see a huge opportunity to be a major player in the container distribution game, given our access to river,

road and rail,” Christian says. “Ports that bring in a lot of import containers are heavily congested, so that gives us an advantage.” Even amid the pandemic, Port NOLA knew it couldn’t postpone the work in St. Bernard. The land purchase there kicks off a lengthy two-year period of due diligence to assess the project’s feasibility and potential environmental impacts, followed by several years of design and construction. “We had to remain aggressive to keep it on track,” Christian says. The work at St. Bernard is a vital of Port NOLA’s long-range plans, and could eventually attract assembly or manufacturing operations, along with regional corporate offices. “For years, we’ve had companies wanting to do business close to the port, but they couldn’t because we don’t have the land,” Landry says. “At St. Bernard, there will likely be a lot

“At 50-plus feet, we’ll have the best infrastructure in the Gulf. Houston has significant challenges in their channel and Mobile is limited to a 14,000 TEU ships. We’ll be able to beat that.” Port NOLA president and CEO BRANDY CHRISTIAN, on the deepening of the Mississippi River, which will allow large Panamex-style ships 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  35

4/6/21 1:45 PM


Webcast THE ENERGY EVOLUTION:

HOW WILL LOUISIANA FARE? As the nation moves away from fossil fuels and toward a low-carbon future, what will it take for Louisiana to make the transition to the new energy economy?

FEATURED SPEAKERS SCOTT ANGELLE

Former Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Interior Former Secretary, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources

DR. LOREN SCOTT

Louisiana Economic Consultant + Forecaster Energy Specialist, National Business Economic Issues Council Professor Emeritus of Economics, LSU

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 • 10 AM Register for this free webcast today at 1012industryreport.com/events/2021webcast/ or scan here SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

34-45 NEWS.indd 36

4/6/21 11:42 AM


NEWS: LOGISTICS

PROMOTING POTENTIAL: Port of New Orleans officials are equally excited about growing interest among companies in regional warehousing and distribution, and they’re playing an active role in promoting its potential in southeast Louisiana.

of ancillary private development to support the cargo business.” Port officials describe it as undoubtedly be a game changer. “If you look at the growing population and GDP growth, every shipper and container carrier is trying the find the cheapest and fastest way to get into the south and Midwest,” she adds. “We provide a natural gateway to those markets by both rail and river.” Once complete, the new terminal will complement the Napoleon Avenue terminal expansion by eliminating air draft restrictions (due to bridges) and providing 50-plus-footdeep river drafts for larger vessels. The current deepening of the Mississippi River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will make it even more attractive, as it will support drafts needed by large Panamexstyle ships. The Corps expects to spend $45.7 million on the deepening project in fiscal year 2021, which will be added to $85 million ap1012industryreport.com

34-45 NEWS.indd 37

proved in the fiscal year 2020 budget. In a prepared statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards says the river deepening will bring undeniable benefits. “The Corps believes that work will pay for itself quickly by bringing larger vessels and more commerce to our state,” Edwards says in the statement. The deepening project also gives Port NOLA greater flexibility and a competitive edge over rival ports. “At 50-plus feet, we’ll have the best infrastructure in the Gulf,” Christian says. “Houston has significant challenges in their channel and Mobile is limited to a 14,000 TEU ships. We’ll be able to beat that.” Of course, the expansion at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal fills the most immediate need, as it will enable Port NOLA to support short-term volume growth. The project is on track to add four new 100-foot-gauge container gantry cranes by the end of 2021. Current work consists of repair-

ing the wharf substructure piles, replacing the fendering system, electrical upgrades near the wharf and extending the landside crane rail at Nashville Avenue Wharf C. The Napoleon Avenue work will ultimately increase Port NOLA’s container capacity to 1 million TEUs. Four ship-to-shore gantry cranes are being fabricated in China with expected delivery to New Orleans in early June 2021. With the new cranes, the facility will have a total of nine container gantry cranes. “With this foundational infrastructure and the arrival of four new 100-foot gauge gantry cranes, Port NOLA’s terminal operator partners will be able to handle ships up to 10,000 TEUs much more efficiently,” Christian says. Port NOLA stands to gain 200,000 to 250,000 TEUs within five years as a result. The port is also expanding its rail yard for the Public Belt Railroad.

That’s particularly important to the petrochemical industry, which periodically uses the rail yard for product storage. NOPB’s connections with six Class 1 railroads affords customers a direct connection to 132,000 miles of track serving all of North America, as well as provides a vital connection with ocean carriers. MORE CHANGES COMING Port officials are equally excited about growing interest among companies in regional warehousing and distribution, and they’re playing an active role in promoting its potential in southeast Louisiana. “The pandemic caused many companies to re-evaluate their supply chains,” Christian says. “They’re getting away from just-in-time inventory systems and going to a more traditional system where they have at least a couple of days or weeks of goods in a warehouse.” That bodes well for the ports, as 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  37

4/6/21 1:46 PM


NEWS: LOGISTICS

“[The Trans-Pacific Asia container service] is a big win for us. A lot of ports on the West Coast have a significant amount of congestion, so it’s not unusual for carrier services to start sending product to other ports where they think they can be worked more quickly and efficiently.”

Issue Date: April 2021 Ad proof #4

BOBBY LANDRY, vice president and chief commercial officer, Port NOLA

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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they can easily access multiple modes of transportation. Port NOLA hopes to leverage its existing “container-on-barge” partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge to tap into the market. Some 16,000 containers moved through the Baton Rouge port in 2020—more than double the volume when the service began in 2017. In the process, SEACOR AMH LLC transports empty containers from Memphis to Baton Rouge via barge to be loaded at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge with resin from area plants, then moves the loaded barges downriver to the Port NOLA for international transport. “That partnership has created a system and opportunity for Baton Rouge and New Orleans to be major players in the distribution market,” Christian says. “We want to see if we can get both imports and exports running between the two cities.” Another exciting addition at Port NOLA–a third Asian service is expected to arrive at the port this spring. “The Alliance” launched a new direct Trans-Pacific Asia container

The Port of New Orleans

IN THE WORKS

ISTOCK

More projects planned or underway at the Port of New Orleans

• Addition of a third Asian service this spring. The new direct Trans-Pacific Asia container service, dubbed the East Coast Loop 6, will serve ports in New Orleans, Houston and Mobile. The additional capacity will support Port NOLA’s growing export business for commodities such as resin, poultry, forestry and agricultural products. • Expansion of the New Orleans Public Belt railroad

service, dubbed the East Coast Loop 6, to serve ports in New Orleans, Houston and Mobile. The additional capacity will support Port NOLA’s growing export business for commodities such as resin, poultry, forestry and agricultural products. “That’s a big win for us,” Landry says. “A lot of ports on the West Coast have a significant amount of congestion, so it’s not unusual for carrier services to start sending product to other ports where they think they can be worked more quickly and efficiently.” He says new Middle Eastern and Mediterranean services might be next, as well as smaller services for African cargo. “There are a total of about 13 weekly services coming here that cover the globe–Europe, Asia, Central and South America–and we do a good job of getting goods where they need to go,” he adds. Port NOLA is “export heavy,” which can make it attractive to certain markets. “Just like an airplane, these shippers like to be full in both directions,” he adds. “We’ve actually got cargo to give them to take back.”

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NEWS: MANAGEMENT

Secrets of success Top execs at three of Louisiana’s fastest-growing companies in the nation share how they did it. By SAM BARNES

I

t has been an incredibly challenging year in the industrial space. Even so, Louisiana companies are making waves for their ability to grow and thrive in the face of some pretty daunting odds. They’re routinely found on national and regional rankings for their pace of growth or sheer size, as well as their innovative approach to tackling problems. Nationally, for example, the Inc. 5000 ranks those companies by rate of growth, whereas the LSU 100 and Roaring 10 lists take a decidedly local approach by ranking the fastest growing LSU graduate-owned or graduate-led businesses.

Representatives of a diverse mix of South Louisiana industrial standouts–Tyler Abadie with engineering firm Abadie-Williams LLC in Metairie, Mark Danos with oilfield service company Danos in Gray and Thad Rispone with electrical/instrumentation contractor ISC of Baton Rouge–recently shared their recipes for success, and discussed the challenges and solutions they’ve discovered along the way. In the end, their comments seemed to converge around a central theme: Corporate success doesn’t start at the top, but begins with a strong foundation. Note: Comments have been edited for clarity and space.

How might you best sum up the reason for your success? TYLER ABADIE, CEO, Abadie-Williams:

We’ve been fortunate at Abadie to hire great people and let those people do great things. We’ve been open to big challenges and bullish on pushing the limit of technical application, paired with an enthusiastic approach to complex midstream projects by everyone on our team.

“It’s energizing to be a part of a team that sees a potential challenge as an opportunity for our organization to evolve.” MARK DANOS, ownerexecutive, Danos:

THAD RISPONE, executive vice president, ISC:

The cornerstone of a successful business is hiring great people and creating a culture in which they thrive. From the beginning, we focused on the principle that every decision will be made with the highest degree of integrity. As a result, ISC’s culture is one of genuine concern for our fellow team members, customers and community.

MARK DANOS, owner-executive, Danos:

DON KADAIR

Our purpose and our people are what make us successful. By way of our compelling purpose, “Honor God. Develop Great People to Solve Big Challenges for Our Customers and Communities,” we have built a strong culture and a great team focused on delivering excellent customer service and committed to fulfilling our purpose.

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Did the pandemic force you to change in a positive way? And how? Danos: We clearly faced some challenges that we didn’t anticipate but grew through the adversity and came out stronger. We learned new ways of communicating and engaging with our employees and customers, and our leadership team stepped up in a big way. It was a year of tremendous teambuilding. We finished the year with our second-best safety record ever. That’s pretty remarkable considering all of the uncertainty.

ISTOCK

Rispone: Our team was well prepared and had already implemented critical systems that allowed for an efficient switch to remote working environments. This not only enhanced productivity but ensured compliance with strict COVID safety guidelines. Abadie: We are now fully integrated as

During the pandemic, what have been the biggest challenges to your business model? RISPONE:

DANOS: Overnight, the pandemic changed our engagement model with both customers and employees, forcing us to reinvent the way we connect. Technology was vital in our communication transition. Because face-to-face interactions were no longer an option, we switched to webbased video meetings and countless personal phone calls with the simple intent of connecting with our team members and customers to see how they were holding up and how we could support them.

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Looking ahead, what are you most excited about? “We’ve been open to big challenges and bullish on pushing the limit of technical application, paired with an enthusiastic approach to complex midstream projects.”

CHERYL GERBER

The wellbeing of our associates and their families has always been our priority and the pandemic brought new dynamics to our approach. We had to make a number of extremely difficult decisions in a timely manner to ensure the safety of our work environments. At the same time, we had to come together as a team to effectively position the company to handle volatile market conditions.

a “work from anywhere” engineering firm and are excited for continued refinement of that business model. Regarding a reduction in consumer demand of crude oil … we took aggressive steps to optimize our organization, hire experienced business development personnel in areas outside of midstream that complimented our skill base and pushed ourselves in sectors that had large similarities to oil in gas. This evolved into services provided to and within shipyards, sustainability and financial due diligence.

TYLER ABADIE, CEO, Abadie-Williams

ABADIE: COVID-19 still proves to be a monumental black swan event for both industry and society. While recovery is starting to be seen, the return to normalcy has been slow. Our business had two major challenges that had to be addressed early. One was a disrupted collaborative work environment where engineers, designers, and project leads interacted daily, and the other was a complete reduction in consumer demand for crude oil. We were fortunate enough to follow global news and trends with our current project work and began to take note of the events being reported from China. Our team members who were traveling in January and February were taking precautions through the early use of PPE, sanitizing consumables and social distancing, even before federal recommendations by the CDC or government guidelines. We were proactive to begin preparing for a shift to work-from-home by implementing expanding remote server capabilities, purchasing equipment for at-home integration of company computers and leveraging existing software. Our management team worked closely with their direct reports to develop practices that worked for the organization and share those in real-time as the benefits were realized.

Rispone: The events of 2020 expedited the adoption of emerging technology in all industries. For the industrial manufacturing sector, a major driver of change is our customers’ need to enhance their global competitiveness. The need for safer, more efficient operations will be achieved through automation and controls. ISC is excited to leverage its proven experience in successfully designing, installing and maintaining these complex systems. Danos: I am excited about the strategy we have developed to meet the energy transition and technology opportunities ahead. We’re actively pursuing energy transition opportunities that support our customers’ goals and we’re deploying technology solutions that are transforming our approach to workforce training and competency assurance. It’s energizing to be a part of a team that sees a potential challenge as an opportunity for our organization to evolve. Abadie: We sacrificed a lot to keep as many people as we could during the series of events: COVID19, depleted oil demand and market retraction. Across the entirety of our organization we’ve seen an increase in company pride, comradery and motivation to get back to pre-COVID project levels. We anticipate this enthusiasm will be directly observed in our work product. 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  41

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CONTAINERS READY TO GEAUX!

Storage capacity has nearly doubled to accommodate up to 2,000 containers. The successful public/private partnership between the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and SEACOR AMH has produced steady increases in the number of containers handled at the Port’s barge terminal. As a result, a project to create nearly 4 acres of additional paved container storage capacity has been successfully completed. The yard is now capable of handling approximately 2,000 containers including containers measuring 40 feet, versus 20 feet. Port Executive Director Jay Hardman said that the response from local industry has been very positive. “We have been able to build in more efficiency in our COB service, which translates to a smoother, more fluid operation, lowers costs, and keeps the service competitive,” says Hardman. “As the service continues to grow, it’s catching the attention of more and more potential customers.” For more information, contact Greg Johnson at 225-342-1660.

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Any big changes to geography, service offerings and/ or personnel that could position you for further growth?

Future challenges? Abadie: There is a large narrative to have a direct and immediate shift to renewable energy sources. This is proposed in changing investment guidance, proposed regulations and signed executive orders. At Abadie, we believe there’s a partnership for both renewables, nuclear, fossil fuels and future innovations to power America and the world in the most efficient way possible, while considering the environmental and social impacts of these technologies. There needs to be a continued, honest conversation about the cumulative impact of all technologies and resources, both in their consumption but also their mining, extraction or origination. … Each energy source has great utility and areas where their use may not be the best choice. It is a dialogue and partnership that is set for the next decade, regardless of anyone’s personal belief, as both infrastructures are being developed and optimized for the effects of climate change, population growth and energy demand.

Danos: We see tremendous growth opportunities in technology-based training and competency through our partner company, iCAN; comprehensive materials management services through our newly launched service offering, i2ms; as well as lots of potential in wind energy and coastal restoration projects on the horizon. Rispone: ISC has built loyal, trusting partDON KADAIR

nerships with leading global manufacturers. We have a well-recognized reputation for safe, quality work which has afforded us the opportunity to successfully execute projects throughout the U.S. This experience has allowed us to expand while enhancing our service offering.

“We are not looking to the future as a challenge, but as an opportunity to evolve and innovate.” Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #3

THAD RISPONE, president, • Please respond by e-mail or fax withexecutive your approvalvice or minor revisions.ISC • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Danos: A couple of future challenges … are energy

Abadie: We are working diligently on building a state-of-the-art telecommuting office/work space to allow employees the opportunity to work at home but also experience an in-office environment when appropriate. This investment will allow us to expand and compliment the current work-life balance many have gotten used to, while also increasing productivity during project life cycles. We are extremely excited for our future workspace and its utility in employee retention.

transition and the rise of technology. I’m excited about the strategy we’ve developed to position us to capitalize on both. Our strategy involves optimizing what we do well today and redeploying those core competencies to meet our industry’s changing needs.

Rispone: We are not looking to the future as a challenge, but as an opportunity to evolve and innovate. Consumer demands and expectations will drive what and how industry produces. ISC is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities that enhance our customers’ global competitiveness.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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NEWS: TECHNOLOGY

DON KADAIR

LSU Construction Management Professor Chao Wang

Are ‘robocontractors’ the future of industrial construction? By SAM BARNES

LSU partners with Rutgers University on a wearable exoskeleton for workers.

A

pair of LSU professors hopes that their current research could one day turn robotic exoskeletons into reality in the construction space. In the process, they’ll improve worker safety and efficiency, and perhaps even create more opportunities for older workers and women. Chao Wang, a construction management professor, and Fereydoun Aghazadeh, professor of industrial engineering, are working with Rutgers University as part of an integrated, multidisciplinary effort to bring emerging robotic technologies, such as a wearable exoskeleton, to the industrial construction industry. As a preliminary step, the group is using a $150,000 National Science

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Foundation planning grant to perform a year-long pilot study and conduct virtual workshops to gather information from potential users. It is all made possible by NSF’s 10 Big Ideas—Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier program and gives LSU and Rutgers one year to create a team of researchers to compete for a $3 million research grant this spring. For now, the team is looking into how variable sensors and robotics technology can keep construction workers safe and increase their productivity. During the workshops, they’re also discussing the potential benefits of an exoskeleton device on health insurance costs and worker longevity. “We want to listen to them and

learn about their requirements on these projects,” Wang says, “as well as get their input and feedback.” About 40 participated in the first workshop in December, a group comprised mostly of project managers from the construction industry in Louisiana and other states, as well as organizations such as Associated Builders and Contractors’ Pelican Chapter in Baton Rouge, Associated General Contractors of America and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. During the meetings, Wang and Aghazadeh are gathering information about potential challenges to implementing the exoskeleton in the field. A participant from Performance Contractors of Baton Rouge, for example, expressed concern that a

metallic device might pose an electrocution risk, while others questioned the impact of dust and Gulf Coast humidity. All the information is helpful, Wang says. “We’re learning more about the practicality of its use in market and the industry.” While LSU provides input from a contractor’s perspective, the Rutgers team helps with the technical design. “We want the device to be smart enough to adjust to fit into various schemes,” Wang says. “We can also provide the real-world application once it gets to that stage.” SCIENCE IN ACTION The main research grant application was due to the National Science Foundation in March and could eventually lead to the development 1012industryreport.com

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Issue Date: Spring 2021 Ad proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

and field testing of the exoskeleton should it be awarded to the LSU-Rutgers team. Chao expects the research phase to begin in October. “It’s a three-year grant,” he adds. “We’re developing a prototype right now and we’ll eventually have two—one in New Jersey and one in Louisiana—for testing, feedback and improving the design.” The team will follow up with simulated constructed activities in the lab, then find industry partners for on-site field testing. The collaborative research project is ahead of the game, as few, if any, construction companies have adopted exoskeleton technology. The FW-HTF project has three primary objectives: develop lightweight, flexible, high-performance, personalized wearable exoskeletons for construction workers; develop machine learning-based human skill modeling and training in construction; and initiate new cross-disciplinary collaboration and foster engagement with industry partners and stakeholders. “Construction workers get hurt for three reasons,” Aghazadeh says. “Number one, they are tired. Number two, the task is beyond their capacity. Number three, they are not properly trained. If they don’t have the capacity to do the physical work, how can we enhance their physical capability? We can give them more power.” Wang, who serves as the project’s principal investigator, says there are a few exoskeleton products currently

available on the market, but those mostly target an industrial manufacturing setting. The exoskeleton remains a novel concept in construction because the construction site is more dynamic and complicated. “We’re seeing how we can explore personalized exoskeleton or robotics technology,” he adds. “In a manufacturing facility, a worker probably does the same thing 1,000 times a day. It’s repetitive, which is perfect for an exoskeleton because they design it just for that one task. “A construction site is a lot different. You must be able to climb stairs, walk, squat, and reach out to different levels depending on what trade you are in. That makes it difficult to design an exoskeleton because you need something that can help with all these tasks. We are investigating how to make the exoskeleton smart enough to recognize what task the construction worker is doing and adjust its power level and control strategy to more effectively assist with the work.” Wang and Aghazadeh will study which tasks each construction crew member performs to develop and train an exoskeleton that fits different construction tasks. In the process, they’ll consider if the robotic exoskeleton should support the upper or lower body and how much power should be given. “The robot must be smart enough to know what you’re trying to do and what your next move is,” Wang says, “so it can be adjusted accordingly.”

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PRODUCTS MADE FROM OIL

FAR MORE THAN JUST GASOLINE IS MADE FROM OIL

While approximately 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of other products.

MEDICINE

COSMETICS

PLASTICS

Most over-thecounter medications, homeopathic products and vitamins are derived from benzine, a petroleum product.

Makeup and shampoo that has oils, perfumes, waxes and color all produced with the help of petrochemicals.

Almost all plastics are made from petrochemicals. from your iPhone to that bottle of water. It is 4-5% of the total petroleum consumption.

SYNTHETIC RUBBER

Thousands of products rely on rubber such as shoes, tires, wet suits, breast implants, gloves, etc.

CLEANING PRODUCTS

All those ingredients you can’t pronounce in the ingredients list of cleaning products being used to keep us safe from COVID-19.

ASPHALT There are over 11 million miles of paved road in the world. Asphalt is the glue that binds the minerals together.

RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTS

Oil is necessary to produce components used to create renewable energy, from wind turbine parts and solar panels to batteries for electric cars.

OTHER PRODUCTS MADE FROM OIL

Clothing, Ink, Heart Valves, Crayons, Parachutes, Telephones, Antiseptics, Deodorant, Pantyhose, Rubbing Alcohol, Carpets, Hearing Aids, Motorcycle Helmets, Pillows, Shoes, Electrical Tape, Safety Glass, Nylon Rope, Fertilizers, Hair Coloring, Toilet Seats, Candles, Credit Cards, Aspirin, Golf Balls, Detergents, Sunglasses, Glue, Fishing Rods, Linoleum, Soft Contact Lenses, Trash Bags, Hand Lotion, Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Footballs, Paint Brushes, Balloons, Fan Belts, Umbrellas, Luggage, Antifreeze, Tires, Dishwashing Liquids, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Combs, Tents, Lipstick, Tennis Rackets, House Paint, Guitar Strings, Ammonia, Eyeglasses, Ice Chests, Life Jackets, Cameras, Artificial Turf, Artificial Limbs, Bandages, Dentures, Ballpoint Pens, Nail Polish, Caulking, Skis, Fishing Lures, Perfumes, Shoe Polish, Antihistamines, Cortisone, Dyes, Roofing, Jet Fuel, Heating Oil, etc.

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FOCUS

FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/RELIABILITY/TURNAROUNDS

TECH SOLUTIONS: High-tech tools are becoming more reliable and less expensive, so many South Louisiana plants now see them as a practical way to improve maintenance processes.

Hitting

a wall

Only technology can take maintenance to the next level. BY SAM BARNES

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D

ow found itself battling the law of diminishing returns in its decades-long quest to optimize its maintenance processes. Though incremental improvements were made to both cost and reliability, the benefits were becoming less impactful. They had hit a wall, says Jeff Sexton, site Technical Expertise & Support director at Dow’s St. Charles Operations in Hahnville. “You can only optimize your processes so many times,” Sexton says. “You reach a point where the changes aren’t making a lot of difference and you’re barely tweaking the knob.” That’s when Dow’s corporate office began taking a hard look at how it might better assimilate technology into the industrial maintenance space, with the goal of taking it to the next level. Sexton is most excited about the potential of virtual reality. Dow, in fact, has multiple VR

pilot programs under way across the Gulf Coast. “Imagine having a team located in another state or country … but you want them to see what your inspector is seeing during an internal inspection,” he says. “With VR, we’re giving them the visibility they need to do that on a real-time basis.” Communication in the field is also enhanced through iPads and other devices that enable workers to look at job plans and schedules, then make adjustments “on the fly” instead of heading back to the office. Jeff Blohm, mechanical manager at ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge, says they’re taking an equally proactive approach by using drones to inspect equipment and to digitally map plant facilities. They’re also making improvements in the planning and execution of maintenance work and using digital construction management tools to facilitate access to plans, drawings, and other data in the field and monitor work and enhance safety. 10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  47

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FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/RELIABILITY/TURNAROUNDS way to improve maintenance processes. IAC operates under a five-year, $1.5 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. While their work was temporarily suspended during the pandemic, IAC resumed site visits in fall 2020. Among other things, they give owners advice for improving efficiency in the industrial maintenance space. “The challenge is not in the purchase of technology. It’s in the integration and effective use of it,” Shi says. “You can’t just get one technological tool and expect it to work for you. You have to implement it and put them together effectively.” Vessels and equipment are like people, Shi adds, and they need to be monitored to detect potential problems. “They have a heartbeat and

DON KADAIR

Blohm expects overall contractor numbers at ExxonMobil to return to historical levels in 2021, following a pandemic-induced dip in 2020. “We’re working with our contractor firms to identify how technology can create more efficient, effective work practices,” he adds. “In some cases, we are using alternate access techniques to access work locations such as working from ropes (similar to rock climbing) versus traditional industrial methods. We’ve also tried to eliminate the duplication of systems or requirements so we can focus on safe and reliable execution of work.” Jonathan Shi, director of the Industrial Assessment Center at LSU, says hi-tech tools are becoming more reliable and less expensive, so many plants now see them as a practical

“You can only optimize your processes so many times. You reach a point where the changes aren’t making a lot of difference and you’re barely tweaking the knob.”

optimal temperature,” he adds. “As such, technological tools should be used to monitor equipment, detect issues and predict if something is wrong, then take corrective actions.” Unfortunately, the pandemic prompted many of the smaller plant owners to reduce their capital spend in technology, while others have accelerated their efforts. “For those companies who have the capital, they’re increasing their technology spending for liability and cost reasons,” Shi adds. Looking even further down the road, Shi sees considerable potential in the use of robotics for detecting and resolving maintenance issues. In 2019, LSU’s Department of Construction Management purchased a $100,000 robo-dog from Boston Dynamics, dubbed “Spot,” that can be programmed for such a purpose. “On a construction site, you could potentially perform inspections and send people to check on safety regulations and progress,” Shi says. “Spot’s sensors enable us to gather more precise information.” Spot has a graphics processing unit and advanced sensors that allow it to detect dangerous situations, such as in chemical plants, the oil and gas field, and mines. Spot can also communicate through Wi-Fi, telephone networks

and GPS, as well as take 360-degree photos. He can also be driven remotely or taught routes and actions to perform missions. OTHER MEANS AND METHODS Dow also leans on some tried and true predictive and preventive maintenance processes–Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, for one–to proactively stay ahead of problems. “We ask the question, ‘What and where is the next failure?’ and work upstream to prevent it from happening,” Sexton says. “We’re analyzing our failures, or what they could be, and working backward from there. Our reliability performance has continued to increase because of that.” Dow focuses much of its efforts on preventing large-scale unplanned events, looking at its critical equipment and putting reliability strategies into place. That also includes spare parts strategies that minimize failure downtimes and impacts. “You tend to spend more money when you have unplanned events,” Sexton says. “When you start to look at things in the different way and use big data to help you with your reliability strategy, you determine the ‘best bang for our buck’ in preventing unplanned events.” The hurricanes of 2020, as well as the recent ice storm, proved that Dow’s strategy is working. Follow-

“The challenge is not in the purchase of technology. It’s in the integration and effective use of it.” JONATHAN SHI, director, LSU Industrial Assessment Center

DON KADAIR

JEFF SEXTON, site Technical Expertise & Support director, Dow’s St. Charles Operations in Hahnville

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FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/RELIABILITY/TURNAROUNDS

ing the last freeze in 2018, the St. Charles plant focused on identifying and improving procedures for minimizing downtime and starting up more efficiently. Since large integrated sites such as Dow are co-dependent upon each other for steam, utilities and raw materials, Dow mapped out a game plan for re-engaging its utilities and supply chain safely and quickly. As a result, the St. Charles Operations cut downtime by 50% to 75%. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic was an exceptional event, and presented its own challenges in the maintenance domain. Through it all, Blohm says, ExxonMobil maintained a commitment to performing routine and turnaround maintenance to maintain safe and reliable operation of its facilities. The Baton Rouge plant remained focused on ensuring that base maintenance was prioritized and worked with its contractor firms to find op50  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

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portunities to improve productivity. “The biggest challenges posed during the pandemic have been the decline in transportation fuel demand in the market for our entire industry causing the slow-down or reduction of capital projects,” Blohm says. The planning process for maintenance turnarounds can take longer since plants must determine the logistics of spreading workers across larger areas and in different locations to ensure social distancing protocols, including additional contractor accommodations and transportation. That creates more cost, but it’s often negligible compared to the total spend. Dow St. Charles is scheduled to begin its own $45 million turnaround this spring–one of its largest turnarounds in the past decade–and expects its contractor population to nearly double from mid-March through early May. Sexton says there haven’t been real

issues with getting materials or manpower, since Dow starts begins very early in the process to identify Roboresource needs and poDog Spot tential resource strains inside and outside of the plant. The company also breaks the work into smaller contracts to minimize risk, and to avoid manpower strains on any single contractor. For the current turnaround, Dow St. Charles is collaborating closely with its sister plant in Plaquemine, which has its own scheduled turnaround in April. Turnarounds will be staggered at the two plants, since they use many of the same contractors. “Two large turnarounds going at the same time wouldn’t produce the best result for us from a resource standpoint,” Sexton says. “We have a couple of weeks in between, so you’re

BERT S. TURNER DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AT LSU

PROACTIVE APPROACH: ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge is using drones to inspect equipment and to digitally map plant facilities.

going to see a lot of the people working here, then moving to Plaquemine. “There are a lot of synergies to be gained by doing things that way. The safety culture is also more easily transferred between plants: You train them in the rules and procedures and the culture, and then you move them on to another Dow site.” Another benefit: It lessens the potential of losing contractors to other plants. “That’s absolutely a part of our strategy,” Sexton adds. “It’s the same company and same leadership, and they get the sense that there’s a continuous flow of work for them. It’s a win-win for everyone.” 1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 1:49 PM


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4/6/21 11:47 AM


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FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/RELIABILITY/TURNAROUNDS

The surge “There are people still out of work. If there was an emergency outage somewhere today, we could quickly ramp up with an additional 300, 400 or even 500 people. And I don’t see that changing in 2021.” FRED MCMANUS, CEO, Brown & Root in Baton Rouge

Pent-up demand provokes a maintenance ramp-up for this fall and beyond. By SAM BARNES

W

hen COVID-19 decimated the demand for fuels, the first reaction by industry was to delay costs—especially in gasoline and fuel production. A great number of refinery maintenance turnarounds were cancelled or delayed into 2021 or beyond. Industrial Info Resources, a market intelligence firm in Sugar Land, Texas, fears that this will result in an unprecedented logjam of maintenance work over the next year, as 2020 volumes are piled on top of an already lengthy list of work. The group forecasts an increase of 5.62% in turnaround activity in 2021, and an even greater 19% jump in 2022. Trey Hamblet, vice president of research at Industrial Info, says the surge is inevitable. “What we originally projected for 2020 fell short by 23 percent,” Hamblet says. “Roughly 75 percent of that activity was pushed into 2021, with the balance of that pushed into 2022.” Therefore, Industrial Info estimates some $1 billion in additional maintenance spending across North America in 2021. Much of that will be along the Gulf Coast and will likely occur in the latter half of Additional maintenance spending the year. across North America in 2021 “That poses some *Source: Industrial real concerns and risks Info Resources for the market,” he adds, “and could put constraints on manpower, resources and materials.” Louisiana, however, might not feel the manpower strain as intently, as capital project delays at Formosa, Methanex and elsewhere have

DON KADAIR

$1 billion

1012industryreport.com

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4/6/21 1:49 PM


FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/RELIABILITY/TURNAROUNDS created a worker surplus. “There are people still out of work,” says Fred McManus, chief operating officer at Brown & Root in Baton Rouge. “If there was an emergency outage somewhere today, we could quickly ramp up with an additional 300, 400 or even 500 people. And I don’t see that changing in 2021.” During the worst of the pandemic, Brown & Root saw a 20% reduction Projected growth in in its maintenance turnaround activity in 2021 manpower as many *Source: Industrial plants postponed their Info Resources discretionary spending. So-called true maintenance dollars remained fairly consistent, but large turnarounds were a different matter as “owners put the squeeze on capital expenditures.” Nonetheless, Brown & Root wasn’t impacted as severely as those contractors who rely more heavily on refining work. Today, the contractor is back up to 95% of its pre-COVID workforce “and we’re expecting 2021 to be in line with what we were originally expecting for 2020.” The outlook for 2022, however, is “not as clear,” McManus adds, “since it’s so far out and turnarounds are commonly delayed 30, 60 or even 90 days.” Dale Logan, executive director of the Southwest Louisiana Construction Users Council in Lake Charles, says his 24 industrial owner members expect to begin ramping up maintenance work in August and continue through January 2022. For WORKFORCE EXPANSION: 30 years, SLCUC has collected fees Triad Electric & Controls General based upon contract manhours to Manager Danny Campbell projects the company’s employment in subsidize craft training at the AsLake Charles will grow up to 300 sociated Builders and Contractors from its current average of 220 by the latter half of the year to meet craft training school. As such, he turnaround demand. polls his membership each month to gauge their needs for the following 18 months. some of these mechanical integrity While SLCUC members expect issues isn’t an option anymore.” to average about 4,000 to 5,000 If that happens, Logan says a workers the first half of the year, worker shortage could quickly they’re forecasting to peak at about become a problem in the Lake 7,500 in October and November. Charles area, as many workers left That number briefly falls before the area following the completion of picking back up again in spring the Sasol plant. “You would think 2022. coming off the heels of a major “I think their backs are against the mega-project there would be a lot wall,” Logan says. “They’re getting of people still around,” he adds, “but to the point where the deferment of 54  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

46-57 FOCUS.indd 54

LEROY TADEMY

5.62%

many of them moved on.” Danny Campbell, general manager at Triad Electric & Controls in Lake Charles, says he doesn’t expect to have any problem finding workers, at least for now. SOWELA Technical Community College and the ABC training center are back in full swing, despite suffering significant damage from last year’s hurricanes. His office was in the middle of a

large turnaround at Citgo when the pandemic ensued in spring 2020 and Triad was “in too deep” to stop. It turned into several months of work and required about 80 workers. “That really helped our manpower in Lake Charles stay consistent during the pandemic,” Campbell says. The company also picked up some work in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, such as insulation work and 1012industryreport.com

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4/6/21 11:48 AM


FOCUS: MAINTENANCE/RELIABILITY/TURNAROUNDS

SPRING TURNAROUNDS Turnaround activity is already ramping up in some areas. Dow St. Charles is scheduled to begin its own $45 million turnaround this spring—one of its largest of the last decade. Plant officials expect their site population to nearly double from mid-March through early May to support an additional 1,200 contract personnel.

19% Projected growth in turnaround activity in 2022

Source: Industrial Info Resources

“We’re gearing up for that, getting our contractors engaged, including our nested groups, base maintenance folks and turn“I’ve heard that around folks,” says third quarter 2021 Jeff Sexton, site Technical Experand 2022 is when tise & Support dithe big stuff will rector at the plant. Dow’s sister plant be coming down. in Plaquemine is Those that could planning a similar be pushed, got turnaround on the heels of the St. pushed.” Charles project. DAVID HELVESTON, president As with everyand CEO, ABC-Pelican Chapter thing, the pandemin Baton Rouget ic has created a strange new world for industrial maintenance. In the beginning, Sexton says there was a quick move by most plants to a more conservative position. “A lot of companies held tight and said, ‘OK, we don’t know how long the recovery is going to take,” he notes. Most owner companies then spent the last half of the year executing more work, while trying to optimize their

“Why take a chance with any other product?”

DON KADAIR

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DON KADAIR

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“I think their backs are against the wall. They’re getting to the point where the deferment of some of these mechanical integrity issues isn’t an option anymore.” DALE LOGAN, executive director, Southwest Louisiana Construction Users Council in Lake Charles LEROY TADEMY

schedules for 2021 and 2022. Dow used its Portfolio Management protocol to prioritize projects. “If there was a project intended to improve our environmental performance or address things related to safety in the units … those were never taken off the table,” Sexton says. Jeff Blohm, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge’s mechanical manager, says he anticipates ExxonMobil’s maintenance worker count to bounce back to historical averages in 2021, after dropping significantly in 2020. ExxonMobil schedules and plans its large turnarounds months or years in advance. “We also work in advance to coordinate maintenance within the members also expect the surge in site or circuit to manage impacted maintenance to occur later in the units to ensure that we maintain year. And while there’s available customer commitments,” Blohm manpower at the moment, that says. “We typically try to segregate could change by 2022. our workforce that supports base “I’ve heard that third quarter maintenance activities from our cap2021 and 2022 is when the big stuff ital projects to ensure that we don’t will be coming down,” Helveston have conflicts.” Issue SPRING 2021 Ad proof #2“Those that could be pushed adds. DavidDate: Helveston, ABC-Pelican • Please respond by e-mailand or faxCEO with your gotrevisions. pushed.” Chapter president inapproval or minor • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions Some crafts—millwrights among Baton Rouge, of his are received by thesays closemany of business today.

them–are already feeling the pinch. “We’ve heard that very clearly from GBRIA (Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance), the plants and our members,” Helveston says. “The focus has been on starting early in the high schools and standing up more programs, but also on the advanced millwrights.” Demand for welders also continues to remain high, says GBRIA

President & CEO Connie Fabre. “Things can very quickly turn from everything being OK to needing workers,” she adds. “The (February 2021) freeze in Texas will also strain manpower as repairs to plant air, water and utilities are made, and increase the need for maintenance.” Fabre says the employment head count in her region remains a bit depressed, but that’s changing as confidence grows. “We’re normalizing now,” she notes, “and our members are beginning to schedule turnarounds with more certainty.”

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10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  57

4/6/21 2:07 PM


CLAIBORNE

CLOSING NOTES: PROJECT MAPS

Project by project

BOSSIER

WEBSTER

CADDO

($25M-$250M)

BIENVILLE

Active Louisiana industrial projects announced or proposed since Jan.1, 2014, with projected capital investment of $25 million to $250 million. Second line shows projected capital investment and direct new jobs. List is representative, not complete; statuses and costs change frequently. 1 Linde World-Scale Hydrogen Plant

$250M | 15 jobs Location: St. James Parish Status: 2021

2 ExxonMobil Refinery upgrades and new technology

$240M | 1,300 jobs retained Location: Baton Rouge Status: Final investment decision in Q1 2021; construction begins in mid-2021

3 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deepening of the Mississippi River Channel

$238M | N/A Location: 256 miles from Baton Rouge to the river’s mouth Status: N/A

4 Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline expansion

$151M | 0 jobs Location: Southwest Louisiana Status: Delayed

5 IMIT terminal upgrades

$150M | N/A Location: St. Charles Parish Status: N/A

6 Delek Refinery

$150M | 30 jobs Location: Krotz Springs Status: 2024 completion

7 BASF

$150M | 15 jobs Location: Ascension Parish Status: N/A

8 Shell Norco

$150M | NA Location: St. Charles Parish Status: In progress

9 Dow polypropylene production expansion $119 M | 8 jobs Location: Plaquemine Status: In production by the end of 2021

10 Dow polypropylene production expansion

$119 M | 8 jobs Location: Plaquemine Status: Production begins Q4 2021

11 Cornerstone hydrogen cyanide plant

$100M | N/A Location: Jefferson Parish Status: Pending

12 BASF Phase 2 MDI Expansion

$87M | Jobs N/A Location: Ascension Parish Status: Pending

13 Huntsman/Rubicon

$78M | 17 jobs Location: Ascension Parish Status: Pending

14 Eastman Expansion $70M | 5 jobs Location: St. Gabriel Status: Pending

15 International Paper Modernization

$52M | Retain 492 jobs Location: Bogalusa Status: N/A

16 Hood Container efficiency upgrade and capacity expansion $50M | Retain 306 jobs Location: West Feliciana Parish Status: N/A

RED RIVER

DESOTO

17 IGP Methanol Plant

$45M-$48M | 325 jobs Location: Plaquemines Parish near Myrtle Grove Status: Pending

NATCHITOCHES SABINE

18 CF Industries Nitrogen fertilizer plant expansion $41.4M | 7 jobs Location: Donaldsonville Status: N/A

19 Epic Piping unnamed expansions $40 M | N/A Location: Louisiana, Texas, Abu Dhabi Status: N/A

VERNON

20 Veolia Regeneration Plant Expansion

23

$40 million | 29 jobs retained Location: Burnside Status: Pending

BEAUREGARD

ALLE

21 Arq Proprietary fuel production facility $40M | 12 jobs Location: St. Rose Status: N/A

22 Port of South Louisiana improvements

JEFFERSON DA

CALCASIEU

$37.8M | N/A Location: Port of South Louisiana Status: In progress

23 Ingevity Caprolactone polyol production capabilities to existing facility

CAMERON

4

N/A | N/A Location: DeRidder Status: Construction begins summer of 2021; operational in Q1 2022

BLUE = ADDED SINCE PREVIOUS EDITION 58  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

58-59 CLOSING NOTES Small Projects map.indd 58

1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 1:51 PM


UNION

CLAIBORNE

MOREHOUSE

WEST CARROLL EAST CARROLL

LINCOLN

OUACHITA

RICHLAND MADISON

ENVILLE JACKSON

FRANKLIN

CALDWELL

TENSAS WINN

Sponsored by

CATAHOULA LASALLE GRANT

CONCORDIA

RAPIDES

AVOYELLES WEST FELICIANA

16

6

WASHINGTON

EAST FELICIANA

15

ST. HELENA

EVANGELINE ALLEN

POINTE COUPEE ST. LANDRY WEST BATON ROUGE

10

14

18

12

20

IBERVILLE

ION NS

LAFAYETTE

ST. MARTIN

LIVINGSTON

2

13 9

ACADIA

ST. TAMMANY

19

CE AS

JEFFERSON DAVIS

TANGIPAHOA

EAST BATON ROUGE

7

ST. JAMES

22 1

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

ORLEANS

8

IBERIA ASSUMPTION VERMILION

21

ST. CHARLES

5

ST. MARTIN

11 JEFFERSON

17

ST. BERNARD

ST. MARY

LAFOURCHE IBERIA

PLAQUEMINES

3

TERREBONNE

Sources: LED, LEO, GBRIA, 10/12 research 1012industryreport.com

58-59 CLOSING NOTES Small Projects map.indd 59

10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  59

4/6/21 1:51 PM


CLAIBORNE

CLOSING NOTES: PROJECT MAPS

Project by project

BOSSIER

WEBSTER

CADDO

($250M and up)

BIENVILLE

Active Louisiana industrial projects announced or proposed since Jan. 1, 2014, with projected capital investment of $250 million or more. Includes projects that are underway, awaiting FID, and proposed. Second line shows projected capital investment and direct new jobs. List is representative, not complete; statuses and costs change frequently. 1 Sabine Pass LNG

$19.5B | 400 jobs Location: Cameron Parish Status: Train 6 under construction; in service 2022

2 Driftwood LNG

$16.8B | 498 jobs Location: West bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles Status: FID delayed

3 G2 Net ZeroLNG

$11B | 250 jobs Location: Lake Charles Status: Production anticipated early 2027

4 Lake Charles LNG

$11B | 250 jobs Location: Lake Charles Status: Energy Transfer takes over project. Approved for five-year build extension.

5 Formosa

10 Venture Global LNG Calcasieu Pass

$5.8B | 130 jobs Location: Calcasieu Ship Channel Status: Under construction

11 Lake Charles Methanol $4.4B | 200 jobs Location: Calcasieu Ship Channel Status: Pending

12 Magnolia LNG

$4.35B | 70 jobs Location: Calcasieu Ship Channel Status: April 2026

13 IGP Methanol

$3.6B | 325 jobs Location: Plaquemines Parish near Myrtle Grove Status: Pending

14 Pointe LNG

$3.2B | N/A Location: East Bank of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish Status: Permitting pending

$9.4B | 1,200 jobs Location: St. James Parish Status:Delayed to 2021

6 Grön Fuels Renewable diesel facility $9.2B | 514 jobs Location: Port of Greater Baton Rouge Status: Final investment decision in 2021

15 NOLA Oil Terminal

$2.5B | N/A Location: Plaquemines Parish Status: Pending

16 South Louisiana Methanol $2.2B | 75 jobs Location: St. James Parish, across from Nucor Steel Mill Status: Pending

7 Delta LNG + Delta Express Pipeline

$8.5B | 300 jobs Location: Plaquemines Parish Status: After 2021

17 Commonwealth LNG

$2B | N/A Location: Cameron Parish Status: Q3 2024

8 Delfin LNG

$7B | 400 jobs Location: Off the coast of Cameron Parish Status: September 2021 deadline for final investment decision

9 Monkey Island LNG

$6.5B | 200 jobs Location: Monkey Island Status: 20-year fixed price agreement signed

18 Yuhuang Chemical

$1.8B | 400 jobs Location: St. James Parish Status: Phase I project completion in Q3 2020

19 Proman Big Lake Fuels $1.6B | 243 jobs Location: Lake Charles Status: Pending

20 EuroChem amonia/urea plant

$1.5B | 200 jobs Location: St. John Parish Status: Pending

60  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

60-61 CLOSING NOTES Large Projects Map.indd 60

RED RIVER

DESOTO

21 Port Cameron deepwater port

$1.5B | 9,930 jobs Location: Calcasieu Ship Channel Status: Pending

22 Port NOLA Multimodal container terminal

NATCHITOCHES

$1.5 billion Location: Violet, St. Bernard Parish Status: Beginning a two-year due diligence and permitting period

SABINE

23 Shintech Louisiana chlor alkali and vinyl choride monomer production facility $1.49B | 120 Location: Plaquemine Status: Operations in early 2021

VERNON

24 Methanex Corp., Methanex 3 $1.4B | 25 jobs Location: Geismar Status: Deferred

25 Wanhua Chemical Group $1.25 billion | 170 jobs Location: St. James Parish Status: Delayed

26 Shintech Louisiana Expansion of manufacturing and packaging facilities

BEAUREGARD

ALLE

$1.25B | 30 jobs Location: Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes Status: Completion in 2023

27 Shell Chemical Monoethylene Glycol plant $1.2B | 23 jobs Location: Geismar Status: FID 2020

28 Diamond Green Diesel refinery expansion

34

$1.1B | N/A Location: Norco Status: Online late 2021

29 Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.Methyl methacrylate manufacturing complex $1B+ | 125 jobs Location: Geismar Status: Final investment decision in mid-2022

1

JEFFERSON DA

CALCASIEU

35

4 11 19 12 2 3 10 17 21 8

CAMERON

9

30 Element US rare earth elements extraction project

$800M | 200 jobs Location: Noranda Alumina site in Gramercy Status: Final investment decision in 2021

BLUE = ADDED SINCE PREVIOUS EDITION 1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 1:51 PM


UNION

CLAIBORNE

MOREHOUSE

WEST CARROLL EAST CARROLL

LINCOLN

31 ExxonMobil polypropylene expansion

RICHLAND

OUACHITA

37 Shintech ethylene expansion

$500M-$1B | 65 jobs Location: Baton Rouge Status: Startup in 2021

MADISON

$400M | N/A Location: Plaquemine Status: Operations in early 2021

32 Energy World USA

ENVILLE

38 Valero Refinery alkylation expansion

$888M | 150 jobs Location: West of Belle Pass in Lafourche Parish Status: 2021

SPONSORED BY

JACKSON

33 Renewable Energy Group

FRANKLIN

CALDWELL

$400M | N/A Location: St. Charles Status: N/A

39 Flopam

$660M | 29 jobs Location: Geismar Status: N/A

TENSAS WINN

$375M | 110 jobs Location: Plaquemine Status: N/A

34 Southern Cross Transmission Project

40 Syngas Energy

$600M | N/A Location: South Louisiana Status: N/A

CATAHOULA

$350M | 100 jobs Location: St. James Parish, south of the Sunshine Bridge Status: N/A

35 Enable Midstream Partners Gulf Run Pipeline

LASALLE GRANT

41 Formosa Plastics PVC plant expansion

$550M | N/A Location: Westlake Status: Projected in service by 2022

$332M | 15 jobs Location: Baton Rouge Status: Operations by 2022

36 Westlake Chemicals expansion

CONCORDIA

$450M | 15 jobs Location: Geismar Status: Completion in 2023

RAPIDES

AVOYELLES WEST FELICIANA

WASHINGTON

EAST FELICIANA

ST. HELENA

EVANGELINE ALLEN

POINTE COUPEE

TANGIPAHOA

ST. LANDRY WEST BATON6 ROUGE

31 41

23 39 26 37

ACADIA

IBERVILLE

29 33 36 27 24 18 28 25 30 ION NS

LAFAYETTE

ST. MARTIN

ST. TAMMANY LIVINGSTON

CE AS

JEFFERSON DAVIS

EAST BATON ROUGE

16

IBERIA

ST. JAMES

40

ASSUMPTION VERMILION

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST ORLEANS

20 5

38 ST. CHARLES

JEFFERSON

22 ST. BERNARD

ST. MARTIN

13

ST. MARY

7

LAFOURCHE

PLAQUEMINES

IBERIA

14 TERREBONNE

Sources: LED, LEO, 10/12 research 1012industryreport.com

60-61 CLOSING NOTES Large Projects Map.indd 61

32

15

10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021  61

4/6/21 1:51 PM


CLOSING NOTES: MY TOUGHEST CHALLENGE

Denise DeLaune BY SAM BARNES

THE RESOLUTION Diversity is much bigger than a gender issue, and DeLaune has had to challenge her own thinking and biases in that regard. After spending three years in another country where there was very little racial diversity 62  10/12 INDUSTRY REPORT  •  SPRING 2021

62-64 CLOSING NOTES Toughest Challenge.indd 62

POSITION: Senior Site Manufacturing Director, St. Charles Operations COMPANY: Union Carbide, a subsidiary of Dow Inc., Taft

WHAT THEY DO: St. Charles Operations (SCO) is owned by Union Carbide Corp., a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co. The complex comprises a 2,000-acre integrated site just upriver from Hahnville. Basic building-block and intermediate chemicals produced at SCO are used in thousands of everyday household, business and consumer products. CAREER: Denise DeLaune has come full

circle in the 20 or so years since graduating from LSU with a degree in chemical engineering. Since 1997, she has worked in a variety of operations and environmental, health and safety roles at several of Dow’s Gulf Coast sites in Louisiana and Texas, then took an assignment in Leipzig, Germany, as a hydrocarbons cracker production leader and site leader. She finally returned home to Louisiana in 2019 to take on the role of senior site manufacturing director at the St. Charles site. Over the years, DeLaune has been involved in the advocacy and support of minority and female talent and was awarded a Dow Women’s Innovation Network North American Champion Award in 2014. She also received the National Manufacturing Association STEP Award in 2016 because of her leadership in operations and technology, and currently serves as a board member for the Louisiana Chemical Association.

in the workplace, it became clear to her that she should focus beyond simply barriers for women. It was then that she made it her mission to educate her teams about the true meaning of diversity. “I’m not just here advocating for myself, or my daughter … I’m advocating for the Asian scientist that has experienced hate since the COVID pandemic,” she says. “I’m advocating for the talented operator who should sit at the table but doesn’t have an engineering degree, the African American woman whose pay gap is even larger than the white woman. “And I’m an ally of the employee with an unseen disability or a child

DON KADAIR

THE CHALLENGE Inclusion is incredibly important in the industrial space but turning it into reality can be a challenge. “If we are going to solve the world’s challenges with science, we need diversity of thought,” DeLaune says. “We need to be able to talk to each other and listen to each other deeply. We need an understanding of specific challenges within different groups of people in different parts of the world.” The greatest reward in her Dow career, she notes, has been developing people. “I believe everyone brings something to the table and I like to encourage and grow that.” Of course, she faced many of her own challenges over the years being the only woman in the control room—or in the board room—but something changed 10 years ago when she began attending a regular lunch group of talented young female engineers. “Despite their talent and leadership, they doubted themselves and their capabilities,” DeLaune says. “I now understand the challenges women face, and I also know firsthand how important male allies are. I was blessed to have many throughout my career.” Still, she worries that people will think she pushes for diversity simply because of her gender. “It took me meeting these ladies to understand that I needed to have more courage, sponsor more people and lead in this area,” she says. “As I’ve listened and learned more from my African American colleagues after the murder of George Floyd, this passion to drive change and encourage true listening has grown even stronger.”

with one, and an ally of our veterans.” Essentially, everyone has a story and deserves development and support, DeLaune says. “This has required more deep thought about what diversity means to me and why I’m pushing for and leading change.” THE TAKEAWAY DeLaune says her work must continue.

“By doing so much work on diversity and inclusion inside of Dow and understanding my own biases and fears, I have developed a deeper passion to be an influencer outside of Dow,” she adds. “How are these things impacting my kid’s classroom, our church services, and where I live and buy groceries? Just when I thought I understood diversity as a white woman, I realized it was so much bigger.” 1012industryreport.com

4/6/21 11:49 AM


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