Range Fuels: Emerson to be automation contractor

By Anna Austin | March 05, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 9, 2009, at 10:49 a.m. CST

Cellulosic ethanol development company Range Fuels Inc. has selected Emerson Process Management www.emersonprocess.com as its main automation contractor for its Soperton, Ga., plant, which is currently under construction.

As main automation contractor, Emerson will work to assess risks and define protocol, engineering and automation standards to allow Range Fuels to lower risks, reduce downtime and run reliably and efficiently to meet production goals.

Range Fuels broke ground on the Georgia facility in late 2007. The company plans to complete its first phase of reaching a 20MMgy capacity in 2010. The facility will use non-edible biomass such as timber and wood waste generated by nearby forest industry operations to produce more than 100 MMgy of ethanol and methanol.

The project was recently awarded an $80 million loan guarantee from the USDA Rural Development program. (Read "Range Fuels receives $80 million USDA loan.")

Range Fuels will also use Emerson's PlantWeb digital automation and safety technology, which is a predictive intelligence system that enables producers to detect process and equipment problems before they occur, maximizing the plant's performance and safety. Users typically report a plant efficiency improvement of at least two percent, according to Emerson.

The relationship between Range Fuels and Emerson is not new. Emerson is also the main automation contractor for Range Fuels' pilot plant in Denver, which has been in operation since early 2008.

Emerson will host an Alternative Fuels/BioRefinery Summit on March 19 in Denver. For more information on the summit, visit www2.emersonprocess.com/en-US/news/events/Pages/0903-afbs.aspx.