Green’s superheater solution hits sweet spot for British Sugar

British Sugar is the sole processor of the UK’s beet sugar crop handling around eight million tonnes of sugar beet and producing up to 1.4 million tonnes of sugar each year. In common with many processing plants British Sugar is keen to identify opportunities to reduce operation costs and improve the impact of its business on the environment.

The company is committed to running a sustainable business which includes ensuring it consumes resources responsibly. This ethos cuts across all aspects of its business including the operation of the boilers which produce high pressure steam that drives turbo-alternators which generate the electricity required to power its factories.

Having determined that converting the water tube boiler at its Cantley plant in Norfolk from being powered by heavy fuel oil to natural gas had the potential to contribute to these aims, it was necessary to clarify the effect this would have on boiler performance and whether boiler modifications would be required.

Cantley factory manager Daniel Green commissioned waste heat recovery specialists Green’s to undertake a boiler feasibility study. This included a review of the boiler and associated equipment that assessed how this change would affect factors including temperature, operating pressure and other criteria and identified what changes would be needed to ensure that its performance met British Sugar’s demands. The report that Green’s provided as a result of their analysis highlighted there would be an increase in the superheater metal temperature taking it above the maximum allowable limit. A redesign of the superheater was necessary to bring the temperature down to allowable levels and avoid damage to the boiler.

The findings were used to develop a tender process which asked three companies to propose how they would design and deliver solutions to meet these demands.

Impressed by the quality of Green’s research and recommendations, British Sugar asked Green’s to implement the report’s findings including modification of the superheater and manufacturing pressure parts. Green’s team cut out and capped off 40 superheater elements and manufactured and installed four hanger tubes during British Sugar’s summer outage. They worked alongside British Sugar’s project team who also managed the installation of new burners, control system and natural gas pipework.

Green’s has been providing ongoing repairs to British Sugar’s boilers since 2015. In early 2018 Daniel Green asked Green’s to work with his Engineering team on another major project to develop a proposal for the replacement of 532 manipulated boiler steam generating tubes and economiser that could be implemented during the summer outage. Having gained approval for the plan, Green’s carried out the manufacture of parts and installed the equipment within the contracted time frame.