Sapphire Biodiesel Refinery

Perspectives

Ames Construction // Green Power // Sapphire Biodiesel Refinery

Project Location: Columbus, New Mexico

Client: Sapphire Energy

Synopsis of work:

The Sapphire Integrated Algal Biofuel Refinery is the world’s first commercial demonstration algae-to-energy facility of this scale. Biofuels, including biodiesel, are green energies that support transition to a low-carbon economy. The facility is designed to cultivate and process 300 acres of oil-rich algae to generate one million gallons of crude oil per year.

Ames crews worked closely with the project owner and general contractor to provide design and constructability reviews throughout the duration of this unique project. With 2:1 slopes, the project manager and superintendent raised concerns about building the ponds. Ames used an innovative approach for the earthwork and detailed finish grading used in constructing the pond embankments, cutting the radius slopes, and detailing out the center pond berm, setting the standard for construction of these ponds for future projects.

The work scope for this first-of-its-kind facility included process piping and embankment for the 75 lined ponds, site concrete, storm ditch concrete and paving, access road grading and gravel and four one-span bridges to provide access over the stormwater ditches. 

Click to enlarge any of the photos below:

Construction of unique biofuels facility
Ames constructed pond embankments, cutting radius slopes and detailing the center pond berm
Process piping and embankment for 75 lined ponds