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Project Development: Identifying a Path through Obstacles and Risks

Paul Sicurezza
Brad Thompson Company
Presentation file: 
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Abstract: 

The intent of the presentation will be to provide a general overview of the development process for a biochar and energy production facility.  Particular attention will be paid to certain project hurdles and risk items that can be faced along the way.

A high-level overview of the more generally understood activities will be provided including: major equipment selection, site review, permitting, off-takes agreements, pro-forma development, and construction scoping.  Additionally, some of the more subtle items that can create pitfalls for any project will be discussed.  This includes the need to understand the importance of the following:

  • Accurate project definition and basis of design
  • Importance of technical definition that informs the project development tasks
  • Prudent management of early stage expenditures for development of data as needed for each phase while still addressing the short-term and anticipating the long-term risks.
  • Assessment of site constraints
  • Level of technical development needed for permitting and financial closure
  • Auxiliary and utility systems impact on overall project success
  • Electrical interconnection
  • Thermal host balancing (if part of the project)
  • Quality detailed engineering for total plant integration
  • Adequate scope definition for project construction

The goal is for those who are exploring the possibility of developing a biochar production facility or anticipating the benefits of the product will come away with a positive yet realistic expectation of what is need to navigate through a project.  With a properly informed approach, individual projects can be tailored to accommodate the unique characteristics of each thus increasing the potential for success. With the success of each subsequent project, particularly in the early days of this industry, it will draw more attention and more investment possibilities for greater growth moving forward.

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