Trenton Agri Products finishes expansion

By | June 01, 2006
Trenton Agri Products LLC, in Trenton, Neb., has finished its expansion project, which increased the facility's nameplate capacity from 30 MMgy to 40 MMgy. The company, which uses milo and corn as feedstocks, signed a contract for the expansion with Colwich, Kan., design/builder ICM Inc. in September after a considerable period of pre-planning and development.

"We had an outage to finish making tie-ins the last two days of February," said Plant Manager Ralph Scott. "The expansion went pretty well. There were some fuel kinks, but March was a 43.6 [MMgy] month for us. So we are operating at above our projected capacity.

Scott said a high demand for ethanol and incentives from ICM, the original contractor, catalyzed the decision to expand the plant. "An expansion is much more difficult than going out in a cornfield, pushing dirt around and building a new plant," said Rod Simms, ICM project engineer. "Most plants are designed to expand, but you manage this with everything else in operation."

Equipment tie-ins and interfacing with the existing structure of the plant was completed without a hitch. "Interfacing went pretty well, and we worked it in, having done a lot of preplanning," Scott said. "We can do the tie-in while the plant is down and then install the rest of the piping up to the valve while the plant is up and running."

Of course, Trenton Agri Products' new equipment had to be digitally interfaced with the existing process control system. "For instance, everything that is hooked in on the old plant must be interfaced with the new components, so we can continue to account for all of the electricity being used," Simms said.

Trenton Agri Products was originally designed and built by ICM in 2003 and began production in 2004. Berexco Inc., an oil and gas production company in Wichita, is the managing partner of the plant.