LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Ingevity recently announced plans to invest $15 million in upgrades at its DeRidder facility, it’s one of the largest investments ever made at the facility.
The announcement came from Ingevity’s president and CEO Michael Wilson on Jun. 21.
DeRidder plant manager, Danny Kyle, said the facility upgrade is comprised of three major projects.
The addition of new crude tall oil storage tanks - which became operational in April 2019 - will enhance manufacturing efficiency and enable further flexibility in serving customers.
One of the four distillation columns onsite will also undergo a process safety enhancement that is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, positively impacting operations and product integrity.
Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019, an adhesive pastillator will be installed, allowing Ingevity to increase its service offerings for hot-melt adhesives and road striping customers while streamlining production processes.
“That project will help us be more flexible and more cost-efficient in serving the markets that we serve,” said Kyle.
The DeRidder facility began operations in 1977, with less than 40 employees. Now, the plant employs more than 200.
“What we do expect these projects to do is to secure the employment that we have now but also lay the foundation for future growth," said Kyle.
Kyle believes the investment is a light in dark times, as industries compete with big tech companies.
“The global printing industry has been in decline over the years as people have moved away from printed materials onto digital media,” Kyle said. “So, Ingevity over the years has invested and evolved with society and this investment is just a continuation of that evolvement.”
The DeRidder plant manufactures products used in a variety of applications including asphalt paving, oilfield drilling, lubricants, adhesives, inks and coatings.
Headquartered in North Charleston, South Carolina, Ingevity operates from 25 locations around the world and employs approximately 1,750 people.
While the upgrades are not expected to immediately add employment opportunities, Kyle said the company hopes to increase those numbers in the future.