Confidential Tobacco Client Manufacturing Facility

Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Haskell delivered the first greenfield tobacco processing facility built in the U.S. in over two decades.

A confidential tobacco manufacturing client approached our Haskell team seeking a cost-effective solution for a potentially expensive problem.

In order to make the supply chain efficient, the company had established its manufacturing facilities close to the tobacco fields of Kentucky and Tennessee. Unfortunately, this part of the country is prone to devastating tornadoes and even potential seismic activity. As a result, the company worried that any damage to their primary manufacturing facility, responsible for producing their two most popular brands, would result in lost market share and subsequent revenue. To mitigate their risk, the client asked Haskell to help them build a second, 260,000-square-foot greenfield tobacco processing facility.

We assisted the client at every step, from site selection to design, construction, procurement and installation.

Utilizing statistical data on regional fault lines and historic tornado paths, we helped our client select a new site in Kentucky. Working under a design-build delivery method with an EPC contract, Haskell began construction on the concrete slab and insulated, tilt-up wall panels for the new facility while design was still underway. Our design team focused on creating an efficient factory footprint that would bring in the cylindrical-shaped bales of tobacco leaves from the fields and guide them through receiving and blending; conditioning and casing; bulking and cutting; drying, mixing and sifting; cure and rotation; and finally, to shipping where the bulk product would be carried off for individual packaging.

Once the design was nearing completion, we assembled a team of internal experts dedicated exclusively to procuring equipment for the new facility. In the 20+ years since the last greenfield tobacco project was executed in the United States, new advances in technology gave our client the opportunity to set a new industry standard. From the casing and brine kitchens to the sifting and pneumatic loading systems, our team procured over $50 million in state-of-the-art process equipment.

Project challenges were mitigated through collaborative communication between Haskell and our client.

This project was not without its share of hurdles to overcome. Communication between our team and our client’s representatives was critical to ensuring deadlines were met and obstacles were navigated quickly, without negatively affecting the bottom line. With this in mind, we were innovative in creating an on-site field office for both teams to work side-by-side, staying in constant touch with the project and with each other. We also created a detailed organizational chart for the project, assigning oversight for all subcontractors and consultants as well as critical areas where the project could get pulled off course.

The final result was a new facility ready to make product two years ahead of schedule.

When our project first started, the client anticipated a four-year timeline to reach completion. But with the time savings provided by utilizing design-build and the mitigation of scheduling delays through excellent team communication, we were able to deliver this turnkey facility in two years. The project’s fast-paced schedule was achieved without sacrificing quality or, most importantly, the safety of our field teams. All 750,000 manhours executed on this job were completed without a single OSHA or MSHA citation.

  • Design-Build delivery of a 260,000 SF greenfield tobacco processing facility
  • Analyzed data to help client minimize their risk with careful site selection
  • Procured new technology for casing and brine kitchens as well as the sifting and pneumatic loading systems
  • Included process systems for:
    • Receiving & blending
    • Conditioning & casing
    • Bulking & cutting
    • Drying, mixing & sifting
    • Cure & rotation
Vice President & Division Leader – Consumer Products

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