Three stage design process – a new working methodology in Xergi

Xergi has helped the American company Avant Energy design a new biogas plant for a municipal supply company in Minnesota. The project is a bridgehead for Xergi in the American market.

When Xergi designs a biogas plant, the company aims to design it to process the available feedstocks as efficiently as possible. This provides the ideal basis for achieving stable operations and high gas production.

During the design process, a number of fundamental problems and a wealth of detail need to be decided on. But how do you ensure that the design ends up being what the client wants and needs?

Xergi has developed a project model that enables the company to ensure that the client retains a sense of perspective and is able to make important decisions during the development of a biogas project.

"At Xergi, we have 25 years' experience of designing and building biogas plants. We have used this experience to create a controlled development process where we assist the client throughout the process," explains Xergi managing director Jørgen Ballermann.

This was one of the reasons that the American consultancy firm Avant Energy appointed Xergi to supply the design of the Hometown BioEnergy biogas plant for the municipal supply company Minnesota Municipal Power Agency.

Making it easier to get authority approval

Project Manager Carsten Hasselgren explains that Xergi divides its designs of biogas plants into three stages.

"Firstly, we prepare a 'basic design' where we produce a basic flow diagram that takes into account the handling of the feedstock that is available for the biogas plant. When the client has accepted these basic principles, we prepare a 'main design' to show how the plant will look in general. The final stage is a 'detailed design' with very detailed drawings where we drill right down into what the plant is to look like, for example pipework in 3D," explains Carsten Hasselgren.

The division into several design stages has the advantage of allowing us to work with the client to take stock and assess whether the project is moving in the right direction at the end of each design stage. At the same time, this procedure makes it easier to obtain authority approval during the process.

As a supplement to the design, Xergi offers 'procurement assistance' which means helping the client to make the required purchases.

Hometown BioEnergy – a flexible model

Carsten Hasselgren has managed the design for Hometown BioEnergy, and Xergi's project model has really shown its worth – especially in terms of a high level of flexibility.

"For Hometown BioEnergy we have supplied a 'basic design' and a 'main design' while an American engineering firm is supplying the 'detailed design'. We are given the detailed design for review and help the client to ensure that the final design is in order," he says.

One of the key components supplied by Xergi is the company's innovative FLEXFEED® module for the pre-treatment of the feedstock before it is fed into the digester. The digester will be built to Xergi's GASMAX® design.

Another key component supplied by Xergi will be the agitation system which will ensure smooth and efficient digestion of the biomass in the digester.

Finally, Xergi will supply the SCADA system which is used to control and monitor biogas plant operations.

Xergi will also be supervising the construction and advising the client during commissioning of the plant.

Construction of the plant is already under way, and if everything goes to plan, electricity production will commence in 2013.

Bridgehead into the American market

Managing director Jørgen Ballermann is very pleased about the Hometown BioEnergy project.

"It is the first project in the United States where Xergi itself is the supplier in the American market. This means that we are on the map in the United States, and I expect that the project in Minnesota will be a bridgehead for Xergi for large biogas plants in the American market," says Jørgen Ballermann.

For further information please contact:
Managing Director Jørgen Ballermann at or on: +45 99 35 16 00

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