Elcon Service takes on new project for Wichita-based energy company

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Jonah Goering (left), Elcon Service co-owner, has teamed as a sub-contractor with Jake Sigel of American Energies Corp. on the nitrogen rejection unit behind them. Elcon workers completed the wiring last week.

The impressive tank-and-hookups units setting outside the Elcon Service building last week did not signal the Hillsboro business?s entry into electric-power generation field?though it may have appeared that way to the casual passerby.

Instead, the project represented the sub-contractor relationship that Elcon Services has developed with a Wichita-based company called American Energies Corp., which also has a shop in Canton.

Elcon Service is wiring the electrical components for a downsized version of a nitrogen rejection unit recently developed by AEC production manager Jake Sigel, who was on site during last week?s project.

An NRU removes impurities such as nitrogen from natural gas by liquifying and regasifying the stream. This much smaller model, though, is intended to make the process much more affordable for smaller natural-gas producers.

?It?s technology that?s been around, but I?ve made it simpler with off-the-shelf materials that are not patented, to where a person can afford it,? said Sigel, who has a chemistry background. ?That was our goal.

?A lot of our gas is from marginal wells, where you can?t afford to spend $3 million on a (NRU) plant,? Sigel said. ?That?s how this whole thing started.?

Developed over the past 21⁄2 years, the units have been located as far away as Louisiana and Kentucky, but also as close as Chase County in Kansas.

?It goes on low-BTU gas wells, or on a pipeline that is taking low-BTU gas, to upgrade that gas to pipeline quality,? Sigel said. ?Specifications are usually 950 BTU, and a lot of gas systems need 4 percent or less nitrogen?and that?s what this system does.?

The units on site last week will be completed, disassembled and then transported early this week, according Sigel. Additional units will be arriving in Hillsboro for the electrical work over the coming months.

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This smaller unit is part of the nitrogen rejection unit system that Elcon Service worked on last week.

Sigel said he connected with Elcon Services through other sub-contracting work the business has done for AEC on such things as immersible pumps.

?We built the last (NRU) in our own yard, but I was hoping we could bring them over here,? Sigel said. ?They?re better set up for it anyway, and it just works out better for them to be here.?

Elcon co-owner Jonah Goering said the project generated more than a few questions from passersby on Orchard Drive. ?We?re running out of jokes to tell them, so we might as well tell them the truth,? he said with a smile.

Anyone interested in learning more about the transportable NRU can contact Sigel at 620-628-4424.

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