Elevance awards EPC contract for Natchez biorefinery

Specialty chemicals company Elevance Renewable Sciences has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its second biorefinery located in Natchez, Mississippi to URS.

Under the contract, URS' scope of work involves converting Elevance's existing biodiesel plant into a new biorefinery.

'With our presence in Baton Rouge, near the site of the new biorefinery, we are able to provide an EPC solution to Elevance that features a local, experienced team and proven construction delivery,' says Ken Martinez, URS VP and GM of process engineering.

The commercial-scale manufacturing facility in Natchez, due to open in 2016, will produce novel specialty chemicals, including multifunctional esters such as 9-decenoic methyl ester; a unique distribution of bio-based alpha and internal olefins including decene; and a premium mixture of oleochemicals. It will have a capacity of 280,000 tonnes.

This project will be the second biorefinery based on Elevance's proprietary metathesis technology. Commercial production is already underway at the company's first biorefinery, a 180,000-tonne capacity joint venture with Indonesian company Wilmar International.

The chemicals produced at these two biorefineries will be used in personal care products, detergents and cleaners, lubricants and additives, engineered polymers, and other specialty chemicals markets.

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