Aligning for Greater Affordability

Costello partners with CTS to design, construct skid-mounted units
By Erin Voegele | February 09, 2011

The U.S. is recovering from the financial downturn, but minimizing costs is still a primary concern for those considering new biodiesel projects. A strategic alliance formed between California-based R.C. Costello & Associates and Texas-based Certified Technical Services aims to make project development convenient and less costly for biodiesel producers.

According to Rocky Costello, president of R.C. Costello & Associates, customers can save up to 15 percent on construction rates by purchasing a skid-mounted biodiesel facility. This is because shop rates are significantly lower than field-construction rates. Certified Technical Services’ location also means that project developers can expedite a project during winter months when weather conditions in northern states may cause costly construction delays.

The companies have previously worked together designing and building numerous skid-mounted systems for biofuels, chemical and the oil and gas industries. The strategic alliance simply formalizes the relationship.

Costello notes that there are several reasons his engineering company has chosen Certified Technical Services as its partner. “Their facility is a one-stop-shop in that they manufacturer vessels and skid mounted process plants,” he says. “They also have extensive knowledge in the proper layout of equipment and instruments and controls. They have such a good background in the field, they’ve done so many skids, it’s our benefit to use them because we don’t have to go to multiple vendors to get a complete process plant.”

Under the strategic alliance, R.C. Costello & Associates will complete the engineering for projects developed under the alliance, while Certified Technical Services will construct facility and handle design and construction of the skids.

In addition to offering greater affordability, Costello notes that there are several other advantages of skid-mounted processors. When working to expand or modify an existing facility, skid-mounted systems allow for a reduced interruption to existing operations. Since initial testing can be done in the warehouse before the system is shipped, the time needed for onsite commissioning can also be reduced. In addition, skid-mounted systems offer important construction advantages when establishing a plant in a remote location.

“The complementary strengths of the two firms will provide a simple and seamless experience for our customers,” Costello says. “When design and construction work together from the beginning of the project, fewer last-minute engineering changes occur and less contractor personnel are needed during on-site installation.”

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