Yokogawa Wins Control System Order for Large Second-generation Bioethanol Plant

Yokogawa Electric Corporation's subsidiary, Yokogawa América do Sul Ltda., has received an order to supply the control system and field instruments for the São Miguel dos Campos second-generation bioethanol plant. Yokogawa will operate as a MAC.

This plant will have a production capacity of 82 million liters per year and is being constructed by GranBio in São Miguel dos Campos, a town in Alagoas state (northeast Brazil). Controlled by Gran Investimentos S.A., a holding company of the Gradin family, GranBio is a Brazilian industrial biotech company with a vision for bringing about a green revolution and achieving energy abundance in Brazil by unlocking the potential of the country’s biomass resources.

As opposed to first-generation facilities that produce bioethanol from food products such as corn and sugarcane, this plant will rely on second-generation non-food sources such as woodchips and straw. São Miguel dos Campos is the first plant of its type to be constructed in the southern hemisphere, and it will be one of the world’s largest such facilities, in terms of production capacity. It is scheduled to start commercial operation in early 2014.

A MAC or Main Automation Contractor operates in an arrangement whereby a control systems order is placed directly with a control system supplier in order to improve plant construction efficiency and reduce both costs and delivery time. A MAC participates in a project from an early stage and works with the project's EPC contractors.

As the main automation contractor (MAC), Yokogawa América do Sul has been involved in this project from the FEED stage, performing the basic design for a control system and field instrumentation solution that will reduce costs and improve production efficiency throughout the lifecycle of the plant. Yokogawa will supply the CENTUM VP integrated production control system to control plant facilities such as reaction tanks and distillation units, and a variety of field instrumentation and equipment including Foundation fieldbus enabled ADMAG AXF magnetic flowmeters, DPharp EJA series pressure/differential pressure transmitters, and control valves. Yokogawa América do Sul will be responsible for delivery, engineering, and operator training.

Satoshi Yoshida, the President of Yokogawa America do Sul, comments as follows: “Brazil is a dominant player in the bioethanol market, second only to the United States. The biofuel market is steadily growing, and second-generation biofuel is attracting attention as an environmentally friendly energy source. Utilizing its accumulated control and instrumentation experience and know-how, Yokogawa will capitalize on the vast opportunities for growth in the renewable energy sector, a key target industry. In its role as a main automation contractor, Yokogawa will provide the latest plant control solutions and project execution services to the renewable energy sector in Brazil and other markets, and thereby work for a more sustainable future.” 

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