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Controlled efficiency: Power controls; biodiesel process simulation; steel

27 May 2008

Automation technologies are helping power transmission and a bio-refinery and steel mill in the Baltic Sea, Sweden, and Finland, thanks to separate efforts from ABB, Invensys, and Honeywell.

Baltic sea
Baltic sea

Two HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) converter stations for the Fenno-Skan 2 power link in the North Sea will benefit from a $170 million (€108 million) contract from Svenska Kraftnät and Fingrid Oyj, the transmission system operators in Sweden and Finland. The contract was awarded to ABB. The stations will be part of an 800-MW extension of the existing 550-MW Fenno-Skan 1 link, delivered by ABB in 1989. ABB will use its HVDC technology and equipment. The contract is part of a larger scheme that includes a 400-kV ac substation in Finnböle, a 70-km dc overhead line in Sweden, and a 200-km submarine cable. For the Fenno-Skan 2 project, ABB will be responsible for system engineering and design, supply, and installation of two HVDC converter stations. Operation is scheduled by the end of 2011.

Swedish bio-refinery SunPine AB, will use Invensys SimSci-Esscor's Pro/II simulation software for modeling a new biodiesel refining operation in Piteå, Sweden. The plant, a member of the Solander Science park biofuels collaboration, converts crude biooil byproducts of pine pulping into second-generation biodiesel for shipment to diesel refining facilities. "Efficient operation of the distillation column is critical to profitability of biodiesel production, impacting cost, output and regulatory compliance,” said Magnus Wikman, acting managing director for SunPine AB. “The more accurately we can simulate our operation, the more effectively we can optimise availability and utilisation of the distillation column. We are confident that the Pro/II simulation software has all of the functionality that we need for this important objective." SunPine will use a newly patented process to manufacture biodiesel from a main feedstock of crude tall oil (CTO), a byproduct of pine pulping, and combine it with vegetable oils such as Jatropha or Castor to create crude tall diesel (CTD). With environmental approvals in place, SunPine AB will begin construction mid-2008, with biodiesel production start planned for October 2009.

A production plant operated by Outokumpu, a €6 billion international stainless steel company, expects to boost efficiency of a ferro chrome converter process – a key sub-process in the production of stainless steel. A $2 million (€1.3 million) contract at a Tornio, Finland, facility has been awarded to Honeywell to implement its Experion Process Knowledge System with a Process, Machine and Drives (PMD) Controller company. ‘We selected Honeywell for this important project because it understands our business needs and has solutions that can enhance our company’s performance,’ said Mauri Kauppi, general manager of steel melting shop and hot rolling mill, Outokumpu Stainless Oy. ‘We trust Honeywell to be our partner and value their comprehensive local service and support.’ The project is targeted for completion in 2009. Experion will help automate related processes including converter charging, cooling, and management of exhaust gases and blowing. Honeywell will use distributed Profibus fieldbuses in the installation of Experion, to reduce cabling costs and enable support for the latest field devices. The contract includes basic and field planning from Honeywell, as well as configuration services.

Control Engineering News Desk


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