BioDME steel towers successfully put in place
On the last Sunday of May the three steel towers forming the main process unit of the new BioDME-plant were put in place beside Chemrec’s development plant in Piteå. The transportation from the workshop of the 21 meters high and 5 meters wide units was an exciting event. Without mishaps all three towers with process equipment were successfully put in place and secured within 12 hours.
A northern Statue of Liberty
– The successful mounting of the units was the most important milestone in the construction phase of the project, says project leader Fredrik Granberg at Chemrec. The days after we also put the gas flare in place and the construction now reaches as high as 31 meters (102 feet) into the air, resembling a northern version of the Statue of Liberty! A very small gas safety flare will burn there permanently.
Reducing green house gas emissions by as much as 95% the renewable automotive fuel BioDME is indeed liberating the world when it comes to environmental threats. Chemrec’s BioDME plant is the first in the world and will have a production capacity of 4 tons (1,600 gallons) per day.
The process units have been assembled indoors complete with steel structure, process vessels, piping, valves, instrumentation and cabling to field boxes.
Also pipe bridges have been erected in the same way – complete structures with piping, insulation and tracing have been delivered to site to be lifted in place.
Mechanical completion in July
– The next step is to put the remaining components and interconnections of the plant in place, continues Mr Granberg. Late July the plant will be ready for commissioning and start-up.
After mechanical completion all pipes will be cleaned, valves, pressure indicators and flow meters etc will be tested and finally the whole system will be run using water. Before the final biofuel production start-up during September the reactors will be filled with catalysts that are used to create the biofuel.
BioDME project background
The BioDME plant is being constructed as part of the European BioDME project with consortium members Chemrec, Haldor Topsøe, Volvo, Preem, Total, Delphi and ETC. The project is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. As part of the project Volvo is putting a test fleet of trucks into operation starting the summer of 2010. Preem is building four filling stations for the Volvo test fleet in Gothenburg, Stockholm, Jönköping and Piteå.
The traffic had to be stopped as the 21 meter high steel towers were transported from the workshop to the BioDME construction site.