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Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) serves 1.8 million customers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN metro area. In 1998, it began a 160 million project to build a new solids processing facility in the St. Paul Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). This project included new equipment for polymer conditioning and centrifuge dewatering, cake pumping equipment, and fluid bed incineration (FBI) with energy recovery and air pollution control. Because MCES was not familiar with the fluidized bed technology – and because of the technology's importance to the overall success of the project – an unconventional approach was needed. As a result, MCES elected to complete the project using a design/build approach. This paper will explore how the successful design/build team managed its responsibilities for the design and construction of the process equipment, controls, and piping for the three reactors and air pollution control trains as well as the steam production and electrical generation processes.

The project team met its scheduled targets and project deadlines, focusing on coordinating the overlapping contracts so that neither experienced unnecessary delays. Design and major construction are complete. Two of three process trains are operational. Testing on the third train and turbine/generator is underway. Completion is set for 2005. Upon completion, the reactor's air pollution system will not only reduce odor but will give the plant the best air pollution system on a sewage combustion process in the United States.

Because it had limited knowledge of the fluidized bed process technology, MCES chose the design/build approach to place responsibility for process performance in the hands of the process experts, as well as to ensure that project costs were held to the contracted amounts. AEE-Von Roll, an engineering firm specializing in combustion technology, led the design/build project team. EMA, which has been a consultant to MCES for the better part of three decades, was responsible for the control systems engineering, and implementation.


This presentation will explore how EMA's experience and long-term relationship with MCES was critical in helping the other vendors understand the needs of end users, a key factor in the success of the collaborative design/build approach. The team has been able to accommodate the needs of the client and provide innovations to the basic design, while interacting with the building designer to resolve conflicts as details of the design emerged. This was made possible by a project approach that proved to be the right choice for MCES.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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