ICM takes on management of ethanol plant

By Holly Jessen | January 04, 2010
Posted Feb. 5, 2010

After completing four months of work at a North Dakota ethanol plant, ICM Inc. has now announced that it will be providing plant management services at that plant. ICM Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of the company, will manage the day-to-day operations and activities of the 110 MMgy plant located near Casselton, N.D., according to ICM.

Tharaldson Ethanol contracted with ICM to build a new energy center at the plant in November. The retrofit project met "substantial completion" by Feb. 1, a very tight turnaround. ICM generally considers a project to manufacture, construct, install, and start-up the quad-dryer and dual Regenerative thermal oxidizers system a 10 month project, according to a press release.

Reports are that the ethanol plant never completely shut down, but continued producing ethanol dependant on the amount of wet distillers grains it could market locally. Just recently, however, the plant restarted its dryers.

Managing the ethanol plant will include production of ethanol and distillers grains. For that, ICM Energy Solutions employs more than 50 people at the plant.

Since it was established in 1995, ICM's proprietary process technology has been used in 102 ethanol plants, according to the company. Those plants have a combined production capacity of about 6.6 billion gallons of ethanol a year. Now, besides building and retrofitting plants, ICM will also pursue providing management services for other ethanol plants. "As a result of the global economic recession that has affected our industry and countless others, we've had to take a step back and evaluate how we can effectively leverage our experience to best meet the needs of our customers," said Dave Vander Griend, president and CEO of ICM. "I'm honored that after a complete evaluation of available management options, Tharaldson's leaders chose ICM's management services to implement their business strategy and support their mission of ‘fueling freedom on the farm'."

ICM also announced that Bill Paulson has been named general manager of the Casselton plant. Tom Ranallo, ICM vice president of operations, called Paulson a respected industry veteran who has the knowledge needed to manage and operate the facility.

Speaking on the decision for ICM Energy Solutions to manage plant operations, Kyle Newman, senior vice president of Tharaldson Ethanol, said, "Last year, we chose ICM to construct our energy center because of their unparalleled reputation within the industry and their extraordinary commitment to delivering quality products for their customers. When we evaluated who could best perform the operations management of our facility, we selected ICM because of the depth of facility management experience within ICM, and its demonstrated dedication to help the industry succeed. We're very excited about what 2010 has in store for Tharaldson Ethanol."