Renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms like Lee Enterprises Consulting, Inc., have experts and strategic partners in designing and building pilot and demonstration bioeconomy plants, as well as other expertise in biofuels/renewable fuels, biomaterials, biomass and biomass power, feedstocks, biotechnologies and a variety of specialty services. What does a modular design-build fabricator provide to bioeconomy clients? In a modular plant, the process equipment, instrumentation, valves, piping components, and electrical wiring are mounted within a structural steel framework – a skid or module. Each skid is a self-contained process unit constructed and tested offsite at the manufacturer’s facility; multiple skids can be connected together in the shop, to match the production site configuration. Following a factory test, the modules are shipped to the production site, where they are erected and integrated; the modules are connected to the site utilities and tested in-place during startup and commissioning.
Many bioenergy and biochemical projects can benefit from a modular design-build approach:
- Pilot or demonstration plants can be constructed and tested at a full-service facility. Using an experienced design-builder allows companies to pilot their process, not the equipment.
- Modular plants are fabricated in a generally safer, cleaner and controlled indoor environment compared with on-site fabrication.
- Plant implementation is fast-tracked by allowing construction of modules during time-consuming permitting and site development activities.
- Some processes benefit from distributed production with multiple, smaller plants located close to feedstock sources.
- A design-builder that doesn’t take a position in a project allows clients to own all the IP.
- Chemical process plant capacity expansion can be achieved by adding modules; minimizing disruption and facilitating process upgrades.
Some concerns regarding the modular approach include module transportation requirements; the level of detailed upfront engineering, planning and communications required; and local labor availability. Using a module fabricator with an experienced engineering design team reduces the scope of required upfront engineering. Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide and you will see that we have just the right expert for any clean energy project. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.