The plant will be the first in the US to produce commercial quantities of biofuels from biomass using a patented two-step chemical process that uses heat, pressure and steam to convert biomass into synthesis gas.
The gas is then passed over a catalyst and transformed into ethanol suitable for blending with fuel.
The plant will initially use wood from nearby timber operations.
Construction of the first phase of the plant is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2010, with the production of ethanol and methanol at a rate of less than 10 million gallons per year to follow in the second quarter of 2010.
Under the agreement, AMEC will provide the plant with engineering and construction management services to ensure production runs on time.
Tim Gelbar, president of AMEC’s Power and Process Americas business, said: ‘This important contract reinforces AMEC’s position on the leading edge of developments in cellulosic biofuels.
With the growth in demand for low-carbon fuels, our biofuels experience and expertise continues to expand, helping our customers, such as Range Fuels, address worldwide energy challenges to meet their objectives.’
Michal Gilzenrat, vice-president of Process Industries at AMEC’s Power and Process Americas business, added: ‘We are now working with the most advanced clients in the business with the most promising technologies.
‘Our portfolio of current major biofuels projects and, more specifically, cellulosic ethanol, includes both biological and thermo-chemical process technology conversions.’