Multinational company in the fine chemical industry

Construction of a metallic oxide nanopowder plant

The project and its challenges

This company produces an ultra-high purity metallic oxide nanopowder for the electronic component industry. It holds the rights to an innovative plasma-based process powered by electricity, and serves clients around the world. In 2012, it wished to increase its production capacity.

Seneca managed the move and expansion of the existing plant, and achieved the production objectives within a tight schedule. The project’s key challenges were to maintain the nanopowder supply chain, to produce a high-quality (5N) powder, and to ensure site safety at all times. More specifically, our intervention included:

  • EPCM project management
  • Preliminary design studies and estimates
  • Completion strategy
  • Project charter
  • Basis of safety
  • Technical assistance during start-up
  • Permit application.

Multinational company in the fine chemical industry


$15 million


2012 – 2013

 The proposed solution

EPCM project management

The Seneca team managed this high technology contract by developing a project charter and preliminary design studies. These strategic and tactical documents ensured effective coordination among all stakeholders, including Japanese top executives. In order not to disrupt production operations, we conducted a complete restructuring of operations in phases.

A scalable process

The process, which was developed and implemented using major existing equipment and new equipment imported from Asia, can be retrofitted easily—a concern in a market where demand is reviewed every six months. The company has already increased its production rate.

Focus on health and safety

As the company’s business operations involve hazardous products, including nanoparticles and plasma torches, Seneca developed a solid basis of safety so as to limit potential risks. Our teams also developed a safe de-dusting process.

The results

  • A plant operating according to production forecasts
  • On-time start-up
  • Resuming operations without breaking the supply chain
  • Maintaining a leadership position in the North American nanopowder market
  • No accidents on site nor when the plant was in operation
  • Environmentally safe facilities.
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