By Suzanne Loudamy, reporter@tricountyleader.com

The parking lot shows that workers have returned to the former Challenger Tank plant between Whitehouse, Texas and the neighboring city of Troup. Over the past few months the dust has been cleaned up, offices were painted, new flooring went in and Veritas Gas Processing, LP is at work.

Formerly known as EPC - Engineering, Procurement and Construction, Inc., this family owned business in the oil and gas industry moved their offices to their current Whitehouse location in 2012. A few things have changed in the last year, including the name.

More diversified, Jasper Ventures now umbrellas over Veritas Gas Processing, LP, Vulcan Field Construction, LP, Vanguard Processing Solutions, LP and Viking Dew Point Conditioning, LP Their work and product are still the same but the partnering companies are a better, more sound financial move to ensure continued support and growth.

The Jasper family name began with Jon Jasper whose engineering mind created the company some 25 years ago. Now two of his three children play key roles in the company’s future.

His daughter, Carrie-Ann Jasper Yearty, primarily covers the human resources side of things while son Brent Jasper handles the accounting/financial wheel of the ship. Jon remains as President of Jasper Ventures.

Veritas Gas Processing, LP can be best described as engineering, design, fabrication and assembly of cryogenic gas processing plants, crude oil stabilization, NGL fractionation and other midstream related processing equipment.

Vulcan Field Construction, LP handles the installation and construction of Veritas designed and fabricated processing equipment/plants.

The next two companies will enhance the business opportunities for Veritas by providing new services to their clients.

Vanguard Processing Solutions, LP delivers expertise and staffing for operating cryogenic gas processing plants.

Viking Dew Point Conditioning, LP provides temporary gas plants and conditioning equipment to clients either through lease or purchase.

Shawn Forgy, Project Construction Manager at the Veritas facility, has worked for the company for many years from their facility in White Oak. He says this was a good move for the company and the employees. The new plant gives them the much needed space to complete the fabrication process from beginning to end.

The new facilities have also allowed Veritas to complete more of the process in-house.  They started with adding a structural steel shop.  This allows Veritas to fabricate steel skids on demand.  A new blast booth has been added with a reclamation system, as well as a new paint booth been with a complete filtration system and is climate and dew point controlled. This is a process that, in the past, had to be contracted out. Now the modules will stay right on site for the painting process.

All of the fabrication of the modules are done in the new plant and as much as possible is assembled there and then taken to the job site to finish the assembly and installation there.

Jasper Ventures also recently broke ground to build an additional 12,500 square foot office structure adjacent to their current office in Whitehouse.

The company employs more than 150 people and more jobs are likely on the horizon. Each of those employees and their families are extremely important to Jasper and its future.

“We want to be the best place to work in East Texas,” Yearty said. “That is our ultimate goal. We have to put a lot of infrastructure in place to do that. We want to provide jobs that are well paid, that have good benefits and offer profit-sharing for our employees.”

At last week’s ceremonial ribbon cutting, Brent Jasper shared the vision with the employees and other attendees. That vision includes growth and stability.

A new business not only means jobs but it lends to economic growth in both Whitehouse and Troup.

Mayor Joe Carlyle had this to say about the Veritas plant opening:

“Having lived in Troup all of my life, I remember many friends who have worked for businesses who for one reason or another left our area. For years I have driven out of Troup and passed this business location, often thinking of those friends who worked there most of their lives. After Challenger closed I sensed the emptiness as I drove past, and thought about those families and friends whose livelihood depended on jobs that no longer existed.

Last week I saw new energy and excitement at the ribbon cutting from many of my old friends (and new ones) who work for Veritas Gas. With the crowds likely exceeding 200 people, I met the owners of Veritas (all family members) and many of their employees and all of them spent time on this busy day helping me get to know them and their business, possibly more noticeable to me was how genuinely interested they each seemed in getting to know me.

As mayor of Troup and more importantly as a lifetime resident, I would like to extend a welcome from all of the individuals and businesses here to the Veritas Gas family and to let you know that we look forward to seeing you in our “home town” in the future.”

The news is good for Whitehouse businesses too.

Whitehouse Mayor Charles Parker said,

“The total economic impact of Veritas Gas expanding in Whitehouse will be felt for years to come as the company continues to grow and expand. The addition of somewhere around 100 permanent good paying jobs, when the expansion is complete, is just amazing. I cannot be happier with the partnership between the city and the Jasper family. Everyone in town should take notice of their efforts, expansion and the fact that these are just very good people who care about the community.”