About three years ago, BIA (Biomass Industries Associates), who specialise in EPCM contracts in the MENA region, awarded BMA several major orders for key equipment for the main process stations of the Al Reef sugar refinery. The first stage of the project has now been completed and the refinery is taking shape.
The Al Reef sugar refinery is located on the Red Sea, in Jazan Economic City, one of the largest industrial cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Jazan has the necessary infrastructure and facilities and is geographically close to large strategic projects such as the new Aramco oil refinery.
BIA chose state-of-the-art equipment for the customer Al Reef, such as our newly developed E1810 batch centrifugal, our K3300 continuous centrifugal, and the VKT continuous crystallisation system. BMA Germany are also supplying the equipment for the affination, melting, crystallisation, sugar drying and cooling.
The underground infrastructure for the plant has already been completed and assembly of the boilers started in late 2018. Now the construction of the refinery buildings and the steel work are in full swing and nearing completion.
The first imposing raw sugar silo is already in place: it has a capacity of around 150,000 t, is 120 m long and 50 m wide. The silo currently serves for storage of the sensitive equipment.
At the heart of the factory complex, the so-called sugar house is where the core sugar refinery process will take place. Just a few metres away, the building section for sugar conditioning and packaging is under construction, next to the vast hall for storing the refined sugar.
The factory is designed for a processing capacity of 3,000 t/d. Thanks to BMA’s sophisticated process technology, Al Reef will be enjoying many benefits after completion. Such as the VKT: a self-supporting tower that can be installed outside, saving both material and time. With its 5.6 m diameter, it has a smaller footprint than several batch pans placed side by side. The calandria pressure is so low that it can operate on 1st vapour, thus improving the overall steam economy.
Another benefit: by producing refinery massecuite in a continuous pan, fewer batch pans are required. This minimises the cyclic pressure fluctuations in the exhaust steam and the central vacuum system.
The oversizing of plants is tantamount to wasting capital and suffering quality losses. With the VKT from BMA, a fifth chamber can be added at a later point. This is more cost effective than installing a potentially oversized pan and thus the best solution for future growth.
The chambers being separate, operation with different calandria pressures is possible. In addition, the calandria steam can be sourced from different origins if necessary.