ICM Secures EPC Contract for Ethanol Plant Retrofit

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The agreement with KAAPA Partners Aurora involves implementation of ICM's P10 Process Optimization at the Nebraska facility.

ICM has recently confirmed an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreement with KAAPA Partners Aurora. The contract includes upgrading a portion of KAAPA's Aurora-based ethanol plant in Nebraska. As part of the retrofitting process, ICM's P10 Process Optimization will be integrated to enhance efficiencies and reduce fouling in the high-pressure distillation systems used in corn ethanol production. The scope of this agreement also covers the upgrading of the Beer Degassing and Digital Control System.

ICM President Chris Mitchell noted that high temperatures in distillation columns can lead to swift fouling when corn solids are exposed, necessitating shutdowns for cleaning as frequently as every three weeks. He said, "The P10 Process Optimization was specifically developed to tackle this issue and enhance operational efficiency for ethanol producers."

The upgrade, besides providing the evaporative capacity needed for producing 200-proof ethanol, will integrate heat from ethanol vapors into the production process, thereby reducing energy consumption. Such heat recovery can decrease the energy demand on cooling towers, enabling faster and more efficient fermentation process cooling.

Mitchell also highlighted that the upgrade can potentially reduce syrup production by up to 35%, explaining that with less syrup passing through the dryers, natural gas usage will be reduced, contributing to lower carbon intensity scores.

Chuck Woodside, CEO of KAAPA Ethanol Holdings, expressed enthusiasm about the new project and potential energy savings. He said, "Having collaborated with ICM previously, we acknowledge their proficiency in implementing sustainable technologies that enhance our competitiveness in the industry."


This is the second collaboration between ICM and KAAPA; the former had previously retrofitted KAAPA's ethanol plant in Ravenna, Nebraska.

Commenting on their partnership, Mitchell said, "KAAPA brings a wealth of industry knowledge that boosts the success of any project. We’re delighted to continue this relationship and assist them in creating more value with our process technologies."

ICM’s P10 Process Optimization upgrade has been implemented in multiple other plants. ICM has conducted two initial front-end loading engineering studies at KAAPA’s Aurora facility and is slated to commence construction in June, with the project anticipated to be completed by the harvest season.