Modular Plant Solutions (MPS) was born over a dinner conversation. Our co-founders were chatting about an opportunity to turn unusable stranded natural gas into a profitable commodity. That’s when the idea for MeOH-To-Go® (also known as Methanol-to-Go®), our small-scale methanol plant, was born. We wanted to figure out a way to convert the stranded natural gas into something transportable and profitable, even though the gas was in a remote location, not easily reachable nor near a pipeline.
That’s what led us to found MPS in 2016 and develop the design for MeOH-To-Go®, a small-scale, easily transportable, modular plant that uses stranded gas to produce market-ready, grade AA methanol. Our patent-pending modular design is based on the ISO 1496 container standard, so plant components can be shipped via container ship, rail and truck, and re-assembled in the field.
Since then, we’ve expanded on our original design to allow for a variety of front-end feedstock options and technology processes, as well as back-end add-on technology processes.
Our team of highly selected engineers, operators and industry experts, bring the best-in-class plant solutions and hands-on experience for a variety of processes for the oil and petrochemical industries.
OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS CAN HELP YOU PLAN, DESIGN, AND EXECUTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR MODULAR FACILITY, NO MATTER THE TYPE.
Russell’s specialty is business acumen, oversight and management. He is a third-generation family business owner. In 1967, his grandfather founded Woven Metal Products (WMP), of which he is now President. Russell has seen the growth of WMP over the years from that of a fabrication facility making custom metal parts, into the solutions provider of today, working with all major licensors in the oil and gas processing industry as well as end-users, refineries and chemical plants. Russell began as an Operator/Worker at WMP and worked through the ranks of Business Development, Field Superintendent, Administrative VP, and onto President. The WMP fabrication facility in Alvin, Texas, houses over 100,000 square feet of shop space, making it able to handle the fabrication needs of almost any size Reactor or Tower in the world. In 2016, Russell started Modular Plant Solutions with David Townsend.
David’s specialties are process engineering, plant operations, major projects, Ethylene Oxide safety, and M&A due diligence. He retired as an Engineering Fellow after 37 years with Celanese. He spent 13 years in operations, 15 years in engineering and engineering management, and the balance of his career working on M&A and major projects. David was involved in opportunities all over the world for Celanese; including 4 years on projects in China. David was the lead engineer for the Fairway Methanol project, selected the process technology for the plant, and progressed it through the FEED stage. He also did the site selection and FEED work for a second new US methanol plant. After retiring from Celanese in 2015, David started Oxirane Engineering, a registered engineering firm in Texas. In 2016, David started Modular Plant Solutions with Russ Hillenburg. David is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.
Heather’s specialty resides in her ability to cross-manage teams, drive sales results and her communication expertise. She has extensive experience marketing products and business and consumer brands across multi-cultural cross-functional teams. With more than 20 years of experience in both business and consumer marketing, she has worked across a variety of industries. Heather has been VP, Business Development for Woven Metal Products (WMP) for the past seven years. Prior to WMP, she was a VP for Ketchum Public Relations, one of the world’s largest PR firms, working across global accounts and securing new business. Her background also includes six years with Essilor of America, the world’s largest eyeglass manufacturer, two years with Regus Offices, the world’s largest executive office space provider as well as experience in healthcare staffing and technology start-up expertise.
Tony’s specialty is mergers, acquisitions, structured commodity transactions and project finance. Tony worked in the domestic power industry for 18 years and has completed transactions on over 6000 MW worth of power facilities. Tony began his career in the power group of El Paso Energy. In 2003, Tony joined Arroyo Energy (a subsidiary of Bear, Stearns and later JP Morgan Chase). In 2015, Tony and two partners left JP Morgan Global Commodities to start Arroyo Energy Investors, an independent private equity firm focused on energy investments in the Americas. Tony joined Modular Plant Solutions in 2018 as an equity owner and VP of Finance.
Joel’s specialty is major project management. Joel started his career at the Celanese Corpus Christi Technical Center as a pilot plant engineer. He did pilot plant projects for several years and then moved to major projects. Joel managed major projects at many of Celanese’s 29 plant sites. Joel was involved in site selection and project development for Celanese’s largest plant, which is in Nanjing, China. Joel managed the latest expansion of the Celanese acetic acid plant in Houston and was project manager for Celanese’s second new methanol plant in the US. Joel retired as an Engineering Fellow after 34 years with Celanese.
Sid is originally from Ireland. He graduated with a degree in Marine Engineering and became a licensed Marine Engineer. He spent the first 7 years of his career at sea as the chief engineer on a Shell tanker out of the U.K. In 1979, Sid decided to make a career move and went to work for Celanese at the Edmonton, Alberta plant. Sid worked on the project team that designed, built, and started up the Edmonton methanol plant (1,000 kta). Sid served as operations specialist for the Edmonton methanol plant and then transferred to Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia where he was the operations specialist for the Celanese-Sabic JV methanol plant (1,000 kta). Sid then transferred to the Celanese Clear Lake plant in Texas as the operations specialist for Clear Lake Methanol (680 kta), a Celanese-Valero JV. After the shutdown of Clear Lake Methanol in 2005, Sid became operations specialist for the utilities and acetyls areas of the Clear Lake plant. In 2013, Sid was assigned to the Fairway Methanol project team and worked on its design, commissioning, and startup. Sid returned to plant operations and was the Fairway Methanol unit’s Operations Specialist for its first two years of operations. Sid joined Modular Plant Solutions after a 37-year career with Celanese.
Knox’s specialties are instrumentation, control systems, and safety instrumented systems. Knox began his career as a control systems engineer for SIP Engineering in Houston. In 1996, he joined Celanese to work as a project engineer in the ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol units at the Clear Lake Plant. He managed the DCS and control room upgrade projects for these units and then worked in plant engineering, maintenance, and process automation, supporting every Celanese process at the Clear Lake Plant and Bay City Plant. He was also a corporate process safety expert and visited many Celanese sites as a PSM auditor and consultant. He left Celanese in 2010 to be the technical lead for safety instrumented system projects at TPC Group. Knox joined Modular Plant Solutions in May 2018 to design the MeOH-To-Go™ plant instrumentation and the Remote Operations Center.
Mark’s specialties are operations, major projects, construction, and plant maintenance. Mark started his career as a project engineer at the Celanese Clear Lake Plant. Over his career, he has worked in operations, maintenance, and major projects. He was Operations Section Leader over the Clear Lake Plant Utilities unit, and also the Operations Section Leader over Celanese’s Shell POX unit for syngas production. Mark was the lead mechanical engineer on a new Celanese Acetic Acid plant in Singapore. He spent several years in the Celanese global maintenance consulting group that’s responsible for all 29 of the Celanese plants. Mark was the lead mechanical engineer for Celanese on the Fairway Methanol plant, a Haldor Topsoe-licensed plant, based on the SMR-ATR two-step reforming process. Mark is also an oxygen system and oxygen safety expert. Mark retired from Celanese as an Engineering Associate after a 37-year career with Celanese.
Nathan specializes in process engineering design, plant operations, process safety, and equipment diagnostic / troubleshooting. He has 15 years of industry experience consisting of a mix of plant operations, process engineering, and all phases of major capital projects (design, construction, commissioning, and startup) with Celanese. Nathan was involved in the design, construction, and/or startup of multiple brownfield major capital projects during his time with Celanese. Additionally, he was part of the FEED engineering team, the detailed engineering team, the operations training team, and the startup operations team for the Fairway Methanol JV project, the first world-scale, greenfield methanol production unit built in North America in the 2000’s. Most recently, Nathan was the lead process engineer for construction, commissioning, and operation of the Celanese, Clear Lake 450 kTa VAM Unit expansion where he oversaw installation of all fractionation equipment, trained expansion startup ops staff, provided critical equipment diagnostic and troubleshooting as part of unit commissioning and startup, and supported day to day unit operations post expansion. Nathan joined the Modular Plant Solutions Team in 2021.
Steve started his career with Celanese Chemical Company in 1979, working in various chemical production facilities as a Process Analyzer Engineer for 20 years. He joined ABB in 1999 and subsequently Siemens in 2005, gaining experience managing Customer Service, Analyzer Product Engineering, and Sample System Engineering. However, Steve never removed his “engineer hat,” having provided designs for on-line analysis systems utilized for process control, environmental compliance, and process safety purposes by a broad range of customers.
Ken’s specialty is rotating equipment. Ken retired as an Engineering Associate and Company Rotating Equipment Consultant after 32 years with Celanese. While at Celanese, Ken was responsible for the rotating equipment engineering for 3 methanol plants (680 kta; 1,000 kta; and 1,000 kta). In 1995, he began his second career as a Principal Mechanical Engineer with WorleyParsons and worked for them for 20 years. He was lead rotating equipment engineer at WorleyParsons on the Fairway Methanol project. His last project at WorleyParsons before joining Modular Plant Solutions was as the Owner’s engineer for the Yuhuang Chemical methanol plant. Ken is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.
Bob’s specialties are power systems and power distribution. After a stint in the Army, Bob spent 3 years at Square D and then a year with Lummus Engineering until they closed the Atlanta office. He moved to American Air Filter for 3 years, working on baghouse engineering and installation. In 1979, he relocated to Houston and began his career with Celanese. At Celanese, Bob worked in both plant engineering, on major projects, and in maintenance. He retired as an Engineering Associate after 25 years with Celanese. Next, Bob joined Magnum Engineering and worked there for 11 years under contract with ChevronPhillips doing electrical system projects at multiple ChevronPhillips sites. Bob joined Modular Plant Solutions in April 2016.
Bob’s specialties are foundation and structural design and project management. Bob started his career with Union Carbide Chemicals & Plastics in their Central Engineering Department. Bob joined Celanese at the Clear Lake Plant in 1980 and served as the plant’s Civil Engineer, project manager, and company representative to the PIP Consortium. Bob retired from Celanese in 2016 as an Engineering Associate. Bob is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.
Oscar retired from Celanese after 32 years as a Process Operator, including 24 years in ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol, 5 years in acrylic acid, 2 years in MTBE and Catofin, and one year in the butane liquid-phase oxidation acetic acid process. Oscar worked on the commissioning and startup of two major international projects for Celanese: an MTBE-Catofin unit in Saudi Arabia and an acrylic acid unit in Germany. Oscar was the trainer for Saudi operators for the MTBE-Catofin project. Oscar next worked for Mustang Engineering for a year and a half as an operations specialist and trainer of the Saudi operators for the Celanese-SABIC JV POM unit in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Oscar then worked for two and a half years at Technip as a commissioning and operations specialist on the Sasol ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol project in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Oscar serves as a commissioning and operations specialist and operations trainer for Modular Plant Solutions.
Tommy retired from Celanese after 36 years as an operations specialist, operations shift team leader, maintenance team leader, and process operator. His experience includes 30 years in acetic acid, 2 years in vinyl acetate, 2 years in ethanol, and a year in acetic anhydride. Tommy worked as a project specialist, operations trainer, and on commissioning and startup of several major international projects for Celanese. These included a green field acetic acid project in Singapore and an acetic acid unit, an emulsions unit, and an acetic anhydride unit in Nanjing, China. Tommy was the trainer for Chinese operators for the acetic acid project. He next worked for Agrium Wholesale for 2 ½ years as a commissioning coordinator for an anhydrous ammonia plant before joining Modular Plant Solutions. During his time with Modular Plant Solutions, Tommy has been engaged Northwest Innovation Works to be the operations representative on the PHA for their 1,800 kta methanol plant. He is currently engaged by Paradox Energy to assist with the commissioning and re-start of their 60 MM scfd natural gas processing plant in southeast Utah.
Steve has over 32 years of experience as a process operator, shift supervisor, and operations specialist, including 25 years in vinyl acetate monomer (VAM). Steve has been involved in PHA’s, commissioning, and unit startups for Celanese in Mexico, Singapore, and China. Other commissioning projects included high-pressure emulsions (EVA) and methanol. Steve served as a Global Manufacturing Specialist, rolling out key work processes globally to all 29 Celanese sites. Since retiring from Celanese, he has worked independently at several manufacturing companies including Koch, PGI, PAE, and FMC providing expertise in operations, maintenance, and reliability. His most recent assignment was to plan the commissioning and startup activities for a total plant outage at a world-scale chemical plant that hasn’t shut the entire plant down in over fifty years. Steve has a good working knowledge of Maximo, and SAP applications including “Prometheus,” which is used for scheduling planned daily maintenance. He is also fluent in Spanish and has worked in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, and Brazil.
Ken spent his 40-year career working as an industrial chemist, doing both analytical work, process improvement, troubleshooting, and R&D. Ken started with Union Carbide Chemicals & Plastics at their Brownsville, Texas butane liquid phase oxidation plant. When that plant shut down, he moved to Celanese and spent the next 33 years working at the Celanese Pampa, Texas plant and the Celanese Bishop, Texas plants. Ken has in-depth knowledge of oxidation processes, including liquid phase oxidation and formaldehyde production. He also knows formaldehyde derivatives, acrylates esters, and engineering plastics (polyacetal) production technologies.
Terry retired from Celanese after 32 years as a machinist, planner, team leader and a rotating equipment specialist. For the past 12 years, Terry has worked for Mustang Engineering (Wood Group) as a rotating equipment specialist. Terry has extensive experience working with steam turbines, large centrifugal compressors, turbo expanders for cryogenic units, single and multi-stage centrifugal pumps, and reciprocating compressors. Terry started his career working as a millwright with Brown & Root Inc. in both construction and maintenance.
Jim’s specialties are process engineering, process safety, and ethylene oxide safety. Jim started his career at the Celanese Bay City plant and worked on an expansion of the vinyl acetate unit and on a new vinyl acetate unit at the Edmonton, Alberta plant. In 1981, Jim took a two-year “sabbatical” from Celanese and joined Davy McKee Engineering in Lakeland, Florida. In 1983, Jim came back to Celanese at the Clear Lake plant, working with the ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol units. Jim spent much of his career in ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol technology and became one of Celanese’s experts on EO safety. Jim was the lead process engineer on both an EO-EG project and a new acrylic acid plant. Jim was an early contributor to the development of Celanese’s quantitative risk assessment approach to process safety and became one of the company’s process safety experts. He retired as an Engineering Associate after 33 years with Celanese. He next spent 3 years leading the process safety effort at Oxychem’s Pasadena plant and another 3 years at the process safety consulting firm Risktec (owned by TUV). While at Risktec, Jim was a process safety consultant for the Fairway Methanol project.
Monica has a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. She started her career at Chevron Phillips Chemical as an Electrical Engineer at the Pasadena, TX location. She worked in various capacities from maintaining the electrical system, troubleshooting, and project management. Taking some time off to raise her 3 children until they were all school age, she then joined MPS in April of 2022. Monica is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.
Bob, the only Modular Plant Solutions team member who never worked for Celanese, spent the first 11 years of his career with the Dow Chemical Company performing R&D of chemical processes and products from laboratory stages through production. While with Dow, Bob received six US and European patents. Bob’s latter years with Dow were in the Technical Sales & Development group for epoxy resins and curing agents for powder coatings. Bob moved to International Paint Powder Coatings (Interpon) as North American research manager. At Interpon, Bob supervised the new product development group for the automotive, construction, appliance, and the aerospace markets. After 4 years, Bob left Interpon to start his own consulting business in the rebar coating area. Bob spent the next 7 years helping clients improve their rebar epoxy coating lines and quality assurance programs. In 1999, Bob joined Solutia (which later became Ascend Performance Materials) as a senior process engineering specialist for its three acrylonitrile (AN) units. As more regulations came into effect, environmental compliance became Bob’s full-time role at Solutia and Ascend. Bob became an expert on Title V, SARA 313/TRI, Emissions Inventory, Subpart Db, BIF Metals, Benzene NESHAP, ECT-1, HON F&G, HWC MACT, Chapter 117 Semiannual Report for Boilers, NOx RACT, GHG Emissions Monitoring, HRVOC Emissions Monitoring, NSR permits, and BIF tests. Bob retired from Solutia/Ascend in 2015.
Ashok started his career at Swagelok and then joined Celanese Technical Center in Corpus Christi in 1981. Ashok’s role at Celanese involved all aspects of materials engineering including material selection, fabrication, welding, heat treatment, cleaning and inspecting. Ashok also conducted failure analysis and corrosion testing and recommended materials of construction for all major projects within Celanese. Ashok traveled all over the world for consultation on materials issues. Ashok retired from Celanese in 2017 after 36 years of service. After retiring from Celanese, Ashok joined Modular Plant Solutions.
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