Buisness Briefs

By Biomass Magazine | November 04, 2021

Weltec, Bristola, partner for US RNG projects
German biogas plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower announced a U.S. service partnership with Bristola, based in Des Moines, Iowa, to build and service biogas plants. Both companies have over 20 years of experience in the industry. Weltec has designed and built over 350 biogas and RNG plants in 25 countries, entering the U.S. market in 2006 with the construction of two biogas plants in Wisconsin. Bristola personnel will have full training in the construction and operation of Weltec plants and will be able to call upon the full support and expertise of the company’s service and biology departments, and other in-house experts to assist U.S. clients.

Vanguard Renewables names Smith CEO
Vanguard Renewables, a U.S. organics to renewable energy company, announced the appointment of Neil H. Smith as CEO. Smith is the former president and CEO of InterGen, an international energy company. Under his leadership, InterGen was transformed from a 20-person startup company into a 700-plus person global, multibillion dollar operating and development company specializing in the development, ownership and operation of power generation and related energy infrastructure assets spanning six continents and more than 20 countries. Prior to becoming InterGen CEO, Smith served as the company’s first chief operating officer.

Prodesa creates new pellet production division
Prodesa has formed a new division for the design, manufacture and aftermarket service of capital equipment for pellet production, ProGranul Equipment. The new division was developed from a design that has over 30 years of operations in more than 300 pellet mills installed around the world, and currently includes the ProGranul Toro Pellet Mill and ProGranul Thor Dry Hammer Mill.

Xebec orders BGX Biostream units from Brightmark, Chevron RNG
Xebec Adsorption Inc. announced the signing of the first set of task orders under a previously announced master service agreement for 18 BGX-Biostream units with Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC. Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC is a joint venture between Brightmark and Chevron U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Chevron Corp., to own project companies across the U.S. to produce and market dairy renewable natural gas (RNG). The 18 units are expected to be deployed across 10 dairy RNG projects in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and South Dakota.

Wisconsin county plans $10 million investment in RNG, CNG
Dane County, Wisconsin, is proposing to invest $10 million in clean fuel infrastructure that will help expand the use of renewable natural gas (RNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in the county fleet. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi included the investment in his 2022 budget proposal.
RNG is already injected into the pipeline at the Dane County Landfill, produced from both landfill gas and biogas from nearby manure digesters. The county fleet currently operates approximately 100 CNG vehicles, including nearly 30 highway snowplows. According to the county, $5 million of the proposed investment will support the purchase of CNG trailers to help fuel the Dane County Highway fleet in areas of the county where CNG filling stations are less available. Approximately $2 million will support the installation of a new CNG filling station at the Fish Hatchery Road Highway garage, while the remaining $3.2 million will be used to purchase eight additional CNG-powered snowplows.

Vermeer named top workplace
Vermeer Corp. has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by the Des Moines Register’s annual Iowa Top Workplaces contest.

The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization including alignment, execution and connection. It asks questions about how companies are encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion through recruiting and hiring; compensation and benefits; professional development; employee involvement, and visible commitment.


Shell starts production at first US RNG facility
Shell Oil Products U.S., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has successfully achieved startup and production of renewable natural gas (RNG) at its first U.S. biomethane facility, Shell New Energies Junction City in Oregon. The facility utilizes locally sourced cow manure and excess agricultural residues to produce an expected 736,000 MMBtu per year of RNG. Shell is developing additional RNG production facilities to be located directly within operating dairies, including Shell Downstream Galloway at the High Plains Ponderosa Dairy in Plains, Kansas, and Shell Downstream Bovarius at the Bettencourt Dairies in Wendell, Idaho. Production at the three locations is expected to help supply Shell R-CNG fueling sites planned at the company’s product distribution complexes in Carson, Van Nuys, Signal Hill and San Jose, California, and at a terminal in Portland, Oregon, owned by Shell Midstream Partners L.P.

Martin Engineering introduces online conveyor training content
New online content has been introduced by Martin Engineering, specifically designed to integrate with learning management systems so users can assign, monitor and certify progress of all participants. The new offering includes eight self-paced modules that address methods to identify, understand and correct common bulk conveying issues to improve safety while complying with regulations, maximizing production efficiency and achieving the lowest operating costs. The modules cover essential subjects that include an introduction to the concept of total material control, with content on transfer points, belting and splices, as well as belt cleaning, alignment and dust management.

Morbark introduces Vtection Vibration Detection System  
Morbark has announced a new, patent-pending system that monitors rotor vibration in the company’s 6400X, 3400X and 3000X series of horizontal grinders. The Vtection is designed to reduce damage from contact with ungrindable objects or other causes of damaging vibration, such as an out-of-balance rotor, broken insert or defective bearing. To use the Vtection system, the operator sets an acceptable operating vibration level through the electronic controller, to match the grinding application. Once the Vtection system is triggered, Morbark’s Integrated Control System (MICS) initiates several actions to remove the tramp material out of the rotor area. The sequence of these actions includes reversing and stopping the infeed, bringing the engine speed to idle, disengaging the clutch, and a warning message displayed on the MICS screen. At this time, the operator can inspect the grinder and remove the object that caused the trip before resuming operation.

Skrobala joins Bathan as country manager France
High-performance ceramic lubricant company Bathan AG has added Alain Skrobala as country manager France. Prior to Bathan, Skrobala served as product and market manager at Carl Bechem for five years, and as commercial director for Bijur Delimon Interational. He brings experience in lubrication optimization to Bathan AG, where he will develop the French-speaking markets. Skrobala is a mechanical engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the automotive, sugar processing, cement production and rail industries.