Cogeneration plant supports renewable energy generation at Queensland sugar mill

ABB will design and deliver a $4 million distributed control system and electrical package for Mackay Sugar’s Racecourse Mill renewable cogeneration plant. Mackay Sugar is building a 37 MW energy cogeneration plant at their Racecourse Mill in Mackay.

The cogeneration plant will utilise the renewable waste matter from the sugar refining process (bagasse) as fuel to produce steam which generates electricity.

The electricity generated will be sufficient to meet the mill’s entire power supply needs with enough spare capacity to feed surplus clean power back into the local Ergon grid. The cogeneration plant is expected to be operational by late 2012.

ABB will provide engineering, system design, installation and commissioning, and other related services for the project. The scope includes the supply of control systems and key electrical equipment including export and auxiliary transformers, medium voltage switchgear, variable speed drives and a low voltage motor control centre solution.

The switchgear, drives and control system equipment will be installed and pre-commissioned in a transportable switchroom before being delivered to site for final commissioning in early 2012.

“ABB’s strong local presence and project execution capabilities, combined with our innovative electrical balance of plant (eBoP) packaged solution, helped us to win this important order,” said Jason Venning, head of ABB’s power generation business in Australia.

“Our reliable and energy-efficient technologies will help the mill maximise its use of renewable energy and satisfy their growing need for electricity.”

The engineering solution for the control system includes installation and commissioning of a wet rack and a Harmony DCS with a Citect HMI for the boiler controls. ABB’s System 800xA will be utilised for the plant’s safety management system.

It has improved industrial productivity, safety, and operational profitability for customers in virtually every industry, from traditional utilities and process industries to alternative energy production such as solar, waste-to-energy and bioethanol.

Mackay Sugar is Australia’s second largest raw sugar milling company.