SHERIDAN — Wyoming carbon tech company Ramaco Carbon announced today that construction of the first phase of its campus, named iCAM (Carbon Advanced Materials), has been green-lighted by county officials. Site work is scheduled to begin immediately.
Once built, the iCAM research center will host researchers from national laboratories, universities, private research groups and strategic manufacturing organizations. Groups will conduct applied research and development with one goal: to use the carbon found in coal to create advanced carbon-based manufactured products.
The office, research lab and pilot building will include approximately 10,000 square feet of interior space that will house research and strategic partners, as well as Ramaco Carbon’s current 3D print manufacturing operation. The building will be a modern steel structure with a sloped rusted corrugated metal roof, designed to complement the local topography and natural colors of the area.
The iCAM research facility will be the first phase of the campus, which will also include a carbon-based manufacturing center (iPark) and the Brook coal mine. The iCAM center will be located near the historic coal mining areas of Acme and Monarch on the Black Diamond Trail, where mining has been done in the Sheridan area since the late 1800s.
The structure has been designed by the architectural firm Dynia Architects of Denver and Jackson Hole.
“This research center has been both a long time in the planning and the making,” Randall Atkins, CEO of Ramaco Carbon, said in a press release.
“The iCAM will help modernize and support innovation in the regional economy, and the coal industry as a whole. The work done here in Sheridan will take coal from its traditional use in power generation to an exciting alternative use of coal to carbon products.”
Carbon tech and coal-to-products was recently named as one of Wyoming’s biggest economic opportunities by The American Jobs Project — a think tank from the University of California, Berkeley — and capable of supporting thousands of jobs. These jobs will focus on using coal to create consumer goods, medical technology, automobile and airplane parts, building materials and more.
“Ramaco Carbon is making substantial private investments,” the American Jobs Project wrote in its Wyoming report. “These world-class resources position Wyoming as an unparalleled location to identify, prototype, commercialize and scale cutting-edge carbon tech products and processes.”
Pending completion of the iCAM, scheduled for spring 2019, Ramaco Carbon will move its current Ramaco 3D operations into the new facility. Ramaco 3D has already begun test producing commercial items with its high-speed manufacturing-grade 3D printers.
“This project has required the coordination of a team of local professionals, including architects, engineers, state and local regulators, Montana-Dakota Utilities and local contractors, to ensure the success of this first building for exciting new manufacturing in the Black Diamond Trail area,” project engineer Jeff Barron of WWC Engineering said in the press release.