Dynamic working environment
Ludovic Ignoux is responsible for building and commissioning sites for the French firm Prodeval.
Four years ago, he joined the Engineering team (gas solutions) as a mobile technician, travelling all over France from one client to another, setting up work sites and learning the ropes of the job. At the time, he was one of only four technicians.
The work was very solitary in nature. It involved lots of moving around, and lots of cross‑country travel. Ludovic was discovering regions, clients, their heritage, and especially their daily life and routines, since he lived and worked with them every day.
With the company growing at a very fast pace, he was soon promoted to manager—a new challenge—and, as a result, directly oversaw several technicians. As the person responsible for operations, he could now choose his team for a particular job site and plan the work as he saw fit.
It also gave him the opportunity to share his know-how and passion for the trade with other people, and to gradually welcome them into his wise circle, helping new collaborators understand and experience the things he had discovered, how he had discovered them, and the great advantages of the job.
As head of the department, which currently includes 30 fellow technicians, Ludovic continually strives to ensure his collaborators get to experience the same inspiring adventures that shaped his own path.
In the last few years, he has travelled extensively and has met so many farmers, in their own environment, that his heart and head are filled with countless heartfelt tales—mostly from his time in France, but also in Guyana.
Thinking back on his last journey, for example, he recounts memories of mangrove swamps with lurking anacondas and of spiders the size of his hand. Oh boy! The scenery in France was somewhat different, mostly comprising goats, cows, or pigs.
But no matter where he found himself, he embraced the local life and was on site with his clients from the start of the project to its completion. He supported them through every phase of the installation, which meant he experienced everything his clients did. Granted, he wouldn’t get up at four in the morning to tend to the animals, but when he did arrive on the farm, he’d meet up with the farmer or client for a coffee, a routine that provided him the perfect opportunity to listen to them reminisce about their life and their families’ experiences. As Ludovic says, “We’re guests in their homes!”
One day, after they had finished working, a client asked him for a hand with his tractor. Without a moment’s hesitation, Ludovic agreed to help him out. They had been working and living together for some time both on the job site and on the farm, naturally forming a bond of friendship—as happened everywhere he went.
In practical terms, field installation takes place in seven phases:
- civil engineering inspection
- delivery of the material
- the installation
- the cabling
- electrical tests (SAT)
- the commissioning
- the injection
This work takes about six weeks, which can be consecutive or spread over the entire year, depending on the projects and their schedule.
More often than not, methanisation sites are built on the farm (80%). But they can also be offsite (20%), when digesters and purification systems are installed at existing sewage plant sites. This happens when the farms are located in town—let’s not forget that cities sometimes sprout up around them! In such cases, certain regulations must be complied with, such as those requiring that facilities be built a minimum distance from residential areas.
This means that every morning and evening, the technicians who reside at the farm must cross the farmland, navigate through herds, fields, and buildings just to get to the biomethane production site.
This year, in Quebec and the rest of Canada, we will be designing and building biomethanisation sites on agricultural land. It will be an opportunity for us to take you through all the steps involved and to give you an understanding of this wonderful human chain unfolding on our soil.
You may want to learn more about our jobs: