British Sugar’s sweet partnership with Heat Exchange Group

British Sugar supplies over half of the UK’s demand for sugar and produces up to 1.2million tonnes annually. The company works with over 2,300 beet sugar growers and processes around eight million tonnes of sugar beet.

At its plant in Wissington in Suffolk, four heat exchangers, each around 8m overall length and comprising more than 1000 tubes, use steam to heat the raw juice produced from the sugar beet as part of its processing. The original heat exchangers were designed and manufactured by Hunt Thermal, now part of the Heat Exchange Group, in 1992. This means that Heat Exchange Group holds the original designs and manufacturing specifications so that when they needed replacing it was an obvious choice to commission the UK’s leading world supplier of the widest range of heat exchanger and boiler products and services.

Heat Exchange Group’s specialist engineers visited British Sugar’s Wissington plant to get a detailed understanding of the company’s heat exchange requirements so that the best solution for their new equipment could be provided.

The four TEMA type NEN heat exchangers designed to EN13445 in stainless steel 304L on the tubeside and carbon steel on the shellside were manufactured in the Heat Exchange Group’s Wakefield factory and then transported 200 miles south to British Sugar.

Michael Saunders, Engineering Manager at British Sugar said: “Because Heat Exchange Group hold the historic records for our some of our equipment, the process to specify and manufacture new products was very straightforward. We are glad we chose to partner with them because the quality of their work was excellent, and any challenges faced during design and construction were communicated in a timely and honest manner.”