Zilkha, Aconex to build first black pellet plant
January 7, 2014, Selma, Ala. - Aconex, provider of the world's most widely used construction project management software, is supporting Zilkha Biomass Energy in the design and building of a black pellet fuel plant. With an output capacity of 275,000 metric tons per year, this will be the first full-scale commercial black pellet production facility in the world.
January 7, 2014, Selma, Ala. – Aconex, provider of the
world's most widely used construction project management software, is
supporting Zilkha Biomass Energy in the design and building of a black pellet
fuel plant. With an output capacity of 275,000 metric tons per year, this will
be the first full-scale commercial black pellet production facility in the
world. The plant is expected to be completed and fully operational by early
Zilkha uses the Aconex Online Collaboration Platform to
manage project information and processes across a multi-company team of
contractors, consultants, subcontractors, and vendors involved in construction
of the new plant. The Aconex platform provides a secure, neutral collaboration
system for managing workflows and processing RFIs, documents, drawings, and
correspondence. Version control ensures that users always have up-to-date
project information at their fingertips, and all decisions and actions are
maintained in a permanent audit trail for transparency and accountability.
"After reviewing several project information management
solutions, we found that Aconex was the best fit for our needs," said
Clyde Stearns, vice president of engineering at Zilkha. "While our
selection was based primarily on technology, the company's training and support
of our users have made the total solution even more valuable. Having a central
location for all project data and workflows saves time, improves accuracy and
reduces overall project risk. In the future, we expect to use Aconex on more
complex projects with larger teams and greater volumes of information."
Low-Maintenance, Alternative Fuel
The Zilkha Black Pellet is made of woody biomass –
compressed green wood that is pre-dried to reduce moisture content. It has
higher energy density than conventional white pellets, without the safety
risks, and is waterproof to decrease storage and transportation costs. As a
next-generation renewable fuel, black pellets can seamlessly replace coal,
which is currently the world's primary source of energy. Zilkha opened its
first commercial production facility, with a capacity of 40,000 metric tons per
year, in Crockett, Texas in 2010.
Stearns indicated that during the course of the Selma plant
construction, users from up to 20 different organizations will review, mark up
and approve documents and drawings and communicate with each other on the
Aconex platform. Project set-up took two weeks, and users with widely varying
technical skills were productive soon after that.
"Our engagement with Zilkha further demonstrates the
value of Aconex in the U.S. power sector," said Frank Kopas, general
manager of the Americas at Aconex. "Black pellet technology has the
potential to transform the energy industry, providing affordable power to more
consumers while reducing the carbon and other harmful emissions produced by
coal. We're pleased with the opportunity to help Zilkha deliver the Selma plant
project with the highest possible quality and the lowest possible risk, and we
look forward to working with the company on future projects."