Power Divisional News – Illovo Sugar Limited R100m boiler contract

Illovo Sugar Limited R100m boiler contract


ubombo-boiler-aug-10-smlIllovo Sugar Limited awards R100m boiler contract to John Thompson for co-generation plant

Illovo’s Ubombo Mill in Swaziland has awarded John Thompson, a division of ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, a turnkey contract worth over R100-million to produce an industrial water-tube boiler for an electricity co-generation plant being established at the mill.

This project is part of a broader factory expansion programme to increase Ubombo’s annual sugar output to over 300 000 tonnes.

The co-generation plant will produce enough electricity for all of Ubombo’s factory and agricultural operations, and for export into the Swaziland national grid. It will boost the mill’s crush rate by more than 20% when the second and final phase of the total project is commissioned at the start of the 2011/12 sugar milling season.

The boiler contract, awarded in December last year, is for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, commissioning and testing of the 105 tonnes per hour boiler, which will connect to a 24 MW extraction condensing turbo-alternator set. The contract also includes training of Ubombo’s milling staff to operate and maintain the boiler and the ancillary equipment.

The boiler, which will operate at 400 degrees C, is a girth-supported, two-drum type unit, which will fire a fibrous mixture consisting mostly of bagasse, plus a small proportion of biomass obtained from waste material left over from cane harvesting. The boiler is also designed to fire coal.

“This boiler will feature a fully water-cooled combustion chamber to facilitate the efficient combustion of the three different types of fuels to be burned,” commented Peter McIntyre, John Thompson’s General Manager, Industrial Watertube Boilers.

“We have produced many boilers in the past capable of firing bagasse and coal. This unit, however, has been specifically designed to also make use of the substantial energy content in residual cane trash, which, following harvesting, is collected in the fields and brought to the factory for supplementing bagasse supplies.”

Sylvain Serret, Illovo’s Group Project Management & Implementation General Manager, said
that in addition to being price competitive, John Thompson’s submission fully met the contract’s technical criteria.

“As part of a thorough evaluation we undertook prior to awarding the contract, we looked at a boiler the company had supplied and installed at another sugar mill. We were impressed with all aspects of its design and construction, including the compactness of the boiler, the boiler controls, the bolted steel structures, the flue-gas ducting and the general finish down to walkways and kickplates,” he commented.

“We also examined reports on the boiler’s operational stability, which was very good. The parastatic load was a lot lower than those of the other boilers we adjudicated from other suppliers.”

He added that John Thompson’s long track record with Illovo, its good delivery record on previous contracts and reliable servicing of existing boilers also counted in its favour in being awarded the latest contract.

ACTOM (Pty) Ltd is the largest manufacturer and distributor of electrical equipment in South Africa, employing over 6 000 people and with an annual order intake in excess of R5bn. It is a black empowered company with 27operating units, 22 production facilities and 25 distribution centres throughout South Africa.

ACTOM partners Alstom France for environmental equipment and in serving the maintenance, upgrade and retrofit market for larger boilers, as well as for railway transport activities.

ACTOM holds exclusive distribution, technology and representation rights for Alstom Grid (formerly the Transmission business of Areva T&D) in Southern Africa and maintains management, technical and commercial links to Alstom Grid business units in Europe.

Following the acquisition by Schneider Energy of the global Distribution business of Areva T&D, ACTOM and Schneider Energy are currently negotiating the local distribution, technology and representation rights with a view to finalising them later this year (2010).

ACTOM formerly traded under the name Alstom South Africa and re-branded to ACTOM in September 2009.

For further information contact Russel Warren, John Thompson
PO Box 32292, Mobeni 4060
Tel (031) 408-9700 Fax (031) 408-9722
E-mail peterm@johnthompson.co.za
Date:  August 23, 2010

Caption:  A diagram of the industrial water-tube boiler being designed and manufactured by John Thompson for the electricity co-generation plant that is to be established at Illovo’s Ubombo Mill in Swaziland.