The sugar and alcohol industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and Latin American countries benefit from this promising segment. According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, ethanol reduces the greenhouse gases in approximately 90% in comparison to gasoline. In addition, to being more sustainable, it is a clean, renewable, and more economically feasible energy.
The Peruvian sugar and alcohol company Caña Brava has invested in this market for almost ten years, during this period of time, it has been automatizing its entire production line, thanks to the equipment and services supplied by WEG. The most recent supply was intended for the plant expansion, which will also start producing sugar and should come into operation by July of this year.
The plant is located in northern Peru and it has a grinding capacity of 4.8 thousand tons a day, which generates a production of 430 thousand liters of ethanol and 370 tons of sugar a day. In order to reach impressive 8,640 hours of production a year, the sugar and alcohol plant counted on WEG solutions, including smart MCCs with Profibus-DP network, medium voltage switchgears, frequency drives, soft-starters, smart relays, low and medium voltage motors, switchboard panels, servers and monitoring stations, generators, turbines, UPSs and battery banks.
In addition to supplying the equipment, WEG also developed and commissioned the whole supervisor control and data acquisition (SCADA) software, besides installing and certifying a modern communication network in the Peruvian plant, which includes Ethernet, Profibus-DP and Profibus-PA. All the field instrumentation with Profibus-PA network, including the installation project, was also supplied. The structure allows Caña Brava to operate almost uninterruptedly, with scheduled shutdowns just for cleaning and servicing the equipment. Therefore, WEG team can perform services like preventive maintenance, improvements and customer support remotely.
The production operates 100% in the automatic mode, ensuring a fine control and repetition of the batches integrated to the quality control of the plant biochemical lab. With the on-line maintenance plan, developed in a partnership with the plant, it is possible to guarantee a minimum number of unscheduled shutdowns and low maintenance costs.
The Peruvian sugarcane harvest have a special characteristic: due to the desert sand soil, drip irrigation is used in the cultivation, allowing plantation and harvest all year long. Due to such characteristic, the content of sugar in the sugarcane (Brix) is quite high, generating a higher production of ethanol per ton of sugarcane.