From Engineering to Start-Up

For more than 30 years as a single-source contractor, IMI Industrial Services Group has provided a complete range of industrial contracting services and turnkey solutions, including dryer technology and the balance of plant systems.
By Anna Simet | February 27, 2020

For more than 30 years as a single-source contractor, IMI Industrial Services Group has provided a complete range of industrial contracting services and turnkey solutions, including dryer technology and the balance of plant systems, such as torrefaction, pellet mill operations and material handling. Its debut in the chip drying industry began in 2017 in Lumberton, South Carolina, at Georgia Renewable Power’s 22-MW biomass power plant, followed by GRP’s two 58-MW plants in Franklin and Madison counties, Georgia.

 Most recently, IMI provided a chip dryer to Restoration Fuels’ torrefaction plant under construction in John Day, Oregon, after the project team caught wind of IMI’s solid reputation and capabilities. “IMI has developed a low-temperature wood chip dryer that creates an efficient, environmentally friendly way to dry wood chips and similar biomass fuels,” says Mike McCoy, vice president of IMI. “Very early in the projectdevelopment, IMI was approached by Dennis Carroll, Restorations Fuels’ project manager, to provide our chip dryer.”

 Though IMI had designed and fabricated similar dryers—the capacities of which range up to 42 tons per day—the company carefully reviewed Restoration Fuels’ application. “Honestly, we were a little skeptical about whether or not this project, like so many, would get any legs under it,” McCoy says.

“However, having previously worked with both Dennis and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, the driving force behind Restoration Fuels, we clearly understood the goals of the endowment’s project, its staff and their mission.  We welcomed the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Soon, a purchase agreement was issued for the design and fabrication of a 17-ton-per-hour chip dryer. IMI has streamlined production of its chip dryers, McCoy says, and was able to quickly deliver the equipment and assemblies. The dryer has been designed to dry fiber to 10 percent moisture content for a torrefied fuel product.

Ultimately, the project developer determined that with IMI’s extensive construction capabilities and project experience, it was a good fit and made sense for the company to provide the balance of work for the installation of major components for the entire operation.

As with any unique project, it has come with a few hurdles, but none that IMI and Restoration Fuels haven’t been able to overcome. “We’ve had some challenges, one being simply that this torrefaction project is the first of its kind,” McCoy says. “It’s also located in a very rural location, so the current economy and availability of tradesmen, to name a few, presented some challenges, but we met them head on.”

All the while, construction on-site continues—completion and subsequent commissioning is on track for this summer—and IMI remains committed to finishing its work at the site safely, on time and on budget. “As this project nears completion,” McCoy adds, “the vision of Restoration Fuels will come to life.”


Contact: Mike McCoy
Vice President, IMI Industrial Services
www.imiindustrialservices.com
mike.mccoy@imiindustrialservices.com