PIASA Group partnered with WEG in the first private energy cogeneration process designed for sugar production in Mexico.
WEG, a major supplier of global solutions in energy generation and distribution, electric motors and automation systems, recently provided an electrical solution for clean energy generation at the Tres Valles mill located in Mexico. This project enables WEG to begin competing in the global market of environmentally friendly cogeneration.
Located in Tres Valles city, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, Tres Valles mill which is part of the PIASA group, has a daily capacity of processing more than 12000 tons of sugarcane. Since 2010, it has used a renewable energy source by reusing sugarcane bagasse, simultaneously generating electricity and thermal energy (steam). This energy is utilized in the average production of 1500 tons of sugar per day.
With the electrical package installation designed and supplied by WEG, the plant began to generate nearly 155 GWh of energy per year, which is enough to supply around 28,000 homes with power for 12 months.
In addition to the renovation of their equipment, that already had more than 35 years of service, the project has benefited the plant in several other aspects, such as the optimization of production costs due to the replacement of fossil fuel by the generation of electricity Biomass base. The WEG solution also provided a huge environmental benefit, eliminating the emission of more than 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which can be compared to eliminating the emissions of 70,000 cars.
The coordinator of cogeneration projects, Guillermo Mendoza, evaluates the benefits gained with the installation of WEG equipment: "By deploying this project, we had several factors that benefited the plant, among them is the stability of the vapor pressure, which increases the volume of grinding and sugar preparation. Besides that, by replacing the use of fossil fuel for electricity generated by biomass, we optimized the production costs while minimizing environmental impacts by reducing carbon emissions. We are being recognized by the government as the first cogeneration project at a plant in Mexico, and received from CONACYT the Technological Innovation award. In addition, the excess energy is redirected to other companies of the group," he states.
It is estimated that in six years it is possible to obtain a return on investment. The solution applied in Tres Valles has become a model for the company and is being replicated to another plant of the PIASA group. "The project will also be reproduced at the Adolfo Lopez Mateos plant, with the installation of a boiler of 250 TVH, 87 bar, 525 °C and a turbine with a 50 MW generator. Operation is scheduled to start in November 2017, "said Guillermo.
For the cogeneration project at Tres Valles plant, the complete electrical package supplied by WEG is made up of a SPW1250 Generator, 50,000 KVA, 13.8 KV, 4 Poles, 60 HZ; a Control Panel; Measurement and generator protection; CCM'S in low and medium voltage; Medium voltage drives; Medium voltage Soft-Starter; Substation and transmission line; Along with commissioning services and startup of the plant. This was the first cogeneration project at a plant in Mexico.