Five is better than four

Crystallisation growing stronger in Latin America

We have been working hard in Latin America to be considered more than just a manufacturer of centrifugals. Since the beginning of the decade, BMA has completed engineering projects in El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and ­Panama. At the end of a project, a contract for equipment from BMA often follows, and this is what happened in Colombia.

Our customer in Providencia had started in 1997 with a VKT designed for C massecuite. As the factory was later converted to the production of sugar cane and ethanol,­ the C station was shut down and the VKT re-designed for B massecuite.

One more chamber

At this point, a higher processing capacity­ was required, to be achieved by increasing the throughput of the VKT for B product. BMA was asked to prepare a concept study, to establish whether it would be possible to upgrade the VKT. In a second step, Providencia ordered a new chamber to be placed on top of the 4-chamber VKT – making it the first 5-chamber VKT in Latin America.

While a standard VKT installation consists of four chambers, its design permits addition of a fifth chamber to increase capacity. With this move, Providencia will boost throughput by more than 25 % using the same VKT.

Quality and cost benefits

And that is just one of the many benefits of the VKT from BMA. Current figures show an improved overall steam economy,­ thanks to the use of 4th vapour as heating steam for the VKT, lower maintenance and operating costs, and higher sugar quality.

The weather-proof VKT is located outside the factory building, which, together with its small footprint, resulted in enormous cost savings for the civil and steel structures. It comes as no surprise then that Providencia chose to rely again on BMA for the extension of their VKT for B ma­sse­cuite and the improvement of their A process.

New OVC for Pujiltic, Mexico

This is not the only VKT order placed with BMA by customers in Latin America – clear proof of the trust they have in BMA technology and expertise. Grupo Zucarmex operates six sugar factories in Mexico, relying on centrifugals from BMA. Now the Group is planning to produce higher-quality C product, and BMA also won this contract, providing the Group’s first OVC at its Pujiltic factory, south of Mexico City.

Commissioning of the 30.5 m high OVC was completed in November 2018, with excellent results: the molasses purity could be reduced by five percentage points. It is BMA's ninth OVC for Mexico – the series of ten is almost complete!