Delivering Tangible Results for Kaneka’s Biopolymer Manufacturing Operations

In industrial manufacturing, the road from concept to reality is frequently laden with challenges.

But in Pasadena, Texas just outside Houston, a plan for a new biopolymer manufacturing facility successfully overcame the complexities of redeveloping a massive brownfield site thanks to the collaboration between Kaneka, a global advanced research, development, and manufacturing company, and Bohler.

Leveraging Opportunity

With knowledge of an expansive underutilized property in Pasadena, Texas, Bohler Director of Business Development Russell Carter proactively collaborated with the landowner and their representatives to better understand the development potential of this brownfield. “Through our extensive due diligence and site investigation of the property and its characteristics, I knew it could support redevelopment for manufacturing,” says Russell.

Meanwhile, Kaneka’s real estate team was searching for property along the coast, hoping to expand its Green Planet™ biopolymer manufacturing operations to the U.S. After initial attempts to contact the Pasadena site’s landowner proved unsuccessful, the local Economic Alliance sent Kaneka to Bohler.

With a tight timeline, Bohler partnered with Kaneka in developing a solid expression of interest (EOI) for a designated portion of the overall property. The EOI identified site challenges, estimated construction costs, and even compared alternative sites based on Bohler’s intimate understanding of the property, extensive manufacturing experience, and detailed knowledge of Kaneka’s business plan.

“We guided Kaneka through the whole process,” says Russell. “Serving as their representative in the negotiation, and with insight into the seller’s decision drivers, we were able to facilitate a mutually beneficial agreement on the best property for Kaneka.”

We guided Kaneka through the whole process. Serving as their rep in the negotiation, we were able to facilitate a mutually beneficial agreement.

— Russell Carter, Director of Business Development

Bohler’s approach was integral in securing the property, reflecting our commitment to delivering solutions that meet our partners’ strategic needs.

Expanding Biopolymer Operations

Kaneka’s biopolymer manufacturing project represents a groundbreaking advancement in sustainable materials, showcasing Kaneka’s innovative approach to biopolymer production which aims to replace traditional plastics used to produce products such as plates, straws, cups, cutlery, and other single-use consumer items.

“By collaborating with Kaneka, Bohler is not only contributing to the advancement of sustainable manufacturing practices but also demonstrating our commitment to supporting innovative solutions that have a positive impact on the environment,” says Russell. “We are excited to be part of this transformative project and look forward to seeing its beneficial impact on the industry.”

Overcoming Challenges

Bohler’s involvement in Kaneka’s project included a comprehensive approach to transform the property – with a history in oil and gas production –into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Kaneka, while overcoming a variety of redevelopment challenges.

Collaboration with environmental consulting teams was key in addressing potential hazards. The team conducted thorough assessments to ensure that the redevelopment plans would not be compromised by any existing contaminants, aligning our strategies with Kaneka’s vision for a clean and sustainable operation.

During our due diligence process, Bohler identified critical factors such as pipeline crossings and utility rights-of-way. The team effectively navigated these complexities through skilled negotiation and legal coordination, securing the important easements and agreements for the aforementioned areas. This enabled design and development of the property to move forward, laying the groundwork for project success.

An essential aspect of the project approach was addressing the presence of extensive wetlands on the property. In collaboration with wetlands scientists and legal consultants, Bohler conducted a detailed assessment. The mitigation strategy, which included preserving acreage for natural drainage and utilizing offsite wetland banking credits, has been submitted for approval to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This plan not only met regulatory requirements but also ensured the creation of superior-quality wetlands within the watershed, compensating for the conversion of land that will be utilized by the project.

Delivering Tangible Value

Bohler’s influence extended well beyond the physical development of the project. “Bohler’s consultation and guidance were invaluable to Kaneka,” says Louis DeHaes, Vice President of Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc. “With financial ramifications ranging from EOI extensions to site selection evaluations, Bohler understood the decision criteria we had and acted as a true partner to lead us through the process.”

Bohler’s consultation and guidance were invaluable to Kaneka. Bohler understood the decision criteria and acted as a true partner.

— Louis DeHaes, Vice President, Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc.

Bohler’s negotiating skills resulted in a significant monetary contribution from the landowner toward wetland remediation costs. This narrative represents a heritage of teamwork and invention.

The collaboration with Kaneka is an outstanding example of Bohler’s skill, teamwork, and innovative spirit. This ambitious project demonstrates that even the most complicated landscapes can be transformed into functional, sustainable developments with strategic vision and persistent devotion to the client’s interests.

107 acres
60 ac converted wetlands
400K SF

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