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Sparks fly during fabrication at the Epic Piping  facility in Livingston. The Baton Rouge-based company is building a $2 million facility in Lake Providence.

Baton Rouge-based industrial pipe fabricator Epic Piping is building a $2 million facility in Lake Providence. 

The 40,000-square-foot pipe facility in East Carroll Parish will have custom milling and fitting shops in addition to structure welding capability. The company expects to hire 50 employees with an average salary of $43,500 at the  facility. The types of jobs include structural welders, fabricators and machine operators.

Epic Piping will be the first manufacturer in the Port of Lake Providence, an inland port with access to the Mississippi River and freight railroad lines. The deal took several months to broker. 

"We're a very distressed area in the Louisiana delta, the transition from agriculture to trying to attract industrial prospects has not been easy," said Wyly Gilfoil, executive director of the Lake Providence Port Commission. "This is a project that hopefully can move us toward better things."

There are seven other companies leasing sites at the port but all are related to the agriculture industry.

Epic Piping CEO Remi Bonnecaze said the facility has easy access to the Mississippi River, rail and interstate highways that will connect the facility to Epic Piping’s global supply chain, with hopes its customers and others would co-locate their manufacturing operations nearby.

“We believe this facility is only the start of tapping into the manufacturing potential of East Carroll Parish and northeast Louisiana," he said.

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The company expects to collaborate with the Louisiana Community and Technical College system to train local residents for its future talent pipeline. In exchange for the $2 million in capital investment for the new facility, the state is chipping in for the cost of workforce development for Epic Piping through its LED FastStart program. 

In 2016, Epic Piping opened its $45 million fabrication complex in Livingston. The company has more than 550 employees at that location. The new facility in Lake Providence is expected to work in tandem with the Livingston plant. 

Epic Piping produces about 20,000 spools of piping each month across all its facilities using carbon steel, stainless steel and nickel-based alloys. It has a facility in San Marcos, Texas, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. 

Epic Piping is a portfolio company of Bernhard Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Baton Rouge. In February, Epic Piping said it planned to invest $40 million in new manufacturing and new offices. The company bought a 24,000-square-foot building along Interline Avenue near I-12 and Airline Highway for its new headquarters this year.

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Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.