SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Koda Energy announced today that it will begin reconstructing its biomass facility with a new design to enhance safety, increase reliability, and reduce emissions. Demolition of the present buildings will begin on July 18, in response to new plans that followed an April 25 fire in two of the facility’s silos that contained wood chips and oat hulls.
One of the only heat and power plants in the nation to burn exclusively natural materials, Koda Energy shut down its operations as a result of the fire. Facility management then began working with Minneapolis-based Barr Engineering on a facility safety assessment. That assessment presented multiple choices for reopening: rebuild using the same vertical silo storage system, modify that system, or completely redesign the facility.
Koda Energy has opted for a new horizontal system inside a two-story unloading and storage building connected to the existing fuel processing facility. This lower-profile design will bring many benefits, including:
• Improved safety
• Reduced particulate emissions by 20%
• Increased reliability
• More efficient fuel unloading
The plans do not call for an expansion or increase in output. The facility will continue to provide environmentally friendly biomass energy by burning a blend of agricultural and plant seed byproducts, such as wood chips, oat hulls, malt byproducts, sawdust, and ground-up wood pallets.
Local contractor selected for project
Greystone Construction of Shakopee will be the project manager on the Koda Energy facility. The $6.77 million project will create 60 jobs. Koda Energy itself employs 18 people, all of whom are working full-time to support the rebuilding efforts.
Demolition will begin at the site on Thursday, July 18. Construction is expected to conclude in November 2013. Following testing, the facility is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2014.
About Koda Energy
Koda Energy is a partnership between Rahr Corporation and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. It provides environmentally friendly biomass energy for Xcel Energy as well as Rahr Corporation, which uses the residual heat from electricity generation in its malting process. Koda Energy originally opened in May 2009 as one of the first facilities of its kind in the United States.