Efficiency of all resources has become a key variable affecting competitive advantage in the sugar market because so much energy is required to process sugar from beets. Gas is a key cost for beet processors, and with rising gas prices, margins are looking vulnerable. In March 2014 the German Corporation for International Cooperation (Giz GmbH) published this case study on a sugar manufacturer in Serbia.
The Crvenka Sugar Plant aimed to optimise their production line with the goal of reducing energy consumption.
Two key inefficiencies were identified:
- The evaporation in vacuum pans needed a lot of energy and had a high consumption of steam. A station was identified to be operating slowly causing a steam surplus of around 40%.
- There was low utilisation of waste heat in the production processes. Vacuum vapours were being condensed, cooled and discharged rather than being used.
These two areas were addressed by the implementation of new installations to directly impact the reduction of vacuum vapours and the increase of waste heat usage.
Operation and maintenance costs were reduced by €120,000 p/a.
CO2 emissions were reduced by more than 24 tonnes p/a.
‘Simple payback’ was achieved in less than 9 months.