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How do you build the world’s largest pea protein plant in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada from scratch? At Roquette, we looked for guidance from our colleagues in Europe, in addition to the support of our teams in North America. We are the only pea protein manufacturer with facilities on both sides of the Atlantic, with our first pea protein plant in Vic-sur-Aisne, France. Drawing on the experience of our teammates globally, we brought several support team members from Europe on-site to share their knowledge and skills for the startup. Let’s hear from some of them about their experience at the newest Roquette plant.

Lukas Melaika is a production project engineer for the pea plant, currently in Canada for about six months from our Roquette plant in Lithuania. “I think this plant will be an example for all the world and all the plants,” Lukas says. “It minimizes the equipment amount needed but makes it big enough, and the engineers’ job here was amazing. People are super excited about the project as it’s very automated with super high standards. A lot of contractors are working to make this plant successful, and the job they are doing is amazing. It’s a dream for every engineer to see this plant and how it works and how things are done here.”

Marco Orlando is a co-leader in the starch area for the pea plant. He is on-site for about six months from Italy where he works as an operator specializing in dryers. Marco says, “The plant is a very big project for the Roquette group and makes me proud and happy to be chosen for the support team. I come from a corn manufacturing plant and not everything is the same, but we, the support team, have some knowledge, experience and flexibility to offer here. It’s the future. Everything is new. The automation is very high, and it’s a very good plant.” 

Larry Havez is a production support supervisor on the team, joining us from our largest Roquette plant in Lestrem, France. He has been working with the Canadian team for over two years, and he’s been on Roquette support teams before in France and China to start up new starch units. Larry says, “I’ve helped the Canada team develop tools to properly drive the processes for productivity, quality and safety. It’s a beautiful factory and a lot of investment. My experience here will be important for my future job in the company.”

Thanks to everyone on the Canada team and the support team for their hard work and expertise to start up our newest plant!

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