Jan 30, 2009
Large coal-to-gas boiler conversions completedBack
Construction|DURBAN|Engineering|Africa|Alstom John Thompson South Africa|CoAL|Environment|Fire|Industrial|PROJECT|Saacke South Africa|Safety|Spring Lights Gas|System|Water|Africa|South Africa|NCP Alcohols' Durban Distillery|NCP Alcohols’ Durban Distillery|Energy|Gas Boiler Conversions|Gas Guns|Gas Pipeline Route|Gas Practices|Integrated Software Programme|Local Gas Supply Pipeline|Low-pressure Gas-fired Boiler|Natural Gas Supplier|Pipeline Gas|Screen|Solutions|Environmental|Motsamai Koapeng|Water|Operations|Ethernet
© Reuse this
Natural gas supplier Spring Lights Gas was contracted to convert a water tube boiler, used for generating steam in its distillery, from coal to gas. The conversion represents a landmark in the history of both companies.
The planning phase was carried out over a period of two years, with strict adherence to environmental compliance requirements, supported by the necessary approvals and licensing applications. The construction phase was completed over a two-month period and conformed strictly to safety standards and international gas practices.
The first phase of construction involved the connection of the distillery to a 6,3-km local gas supply pipeline. As NCP Alcohols is situated near a residential area, the community and all interested parties along the gas pipeline route were consulted and integrated into the environmental study, before the pipeline was constructed.
Once the pipeline was completed, a 32-t low-pressure gas-fired boiler was installed to replace the 30-t coal-fired low-pressure coal boiler, followed by the complete re- engineering of the coal-fired boiler to burn pipeline gas. Both these processes were controlled by a fully integrated software programme, which ensured the safety and efficiency of the boiler operation.
The coal-fired boiler, which generated 20-bar process steam within the distillery, was retired and replaced with two natural gas-fired dried distiller’s grain (DDG) 12 burners supplied by industrial combustion company Saacke South Africa. The conversion to gas was undertaken by Saacke, in close cooperation with boiler and environmental solutions company Alstom John Thompson South Africa.
Each boiler has an output of 16 MW and is designed to guide the gas to the combustion zone by means of several gas guns that are located in the core air tube. The gas guns are connected to one another by an outer gas ring body, which may be adjusted from the outside by turning the gas guns to optimally adjust the gas flame and achieve the lowest emission values. Alstom John Thompson carried out the assembly under the supervision of Saacke, and commissioning of the burners was completed after two weeks.
To effectively manage the burner control system, NCP Alcohols introduced a computerised process monitoring and management system, which allows for the integration of the safe Ethernet and visuali- sation (Se@vis) burner control system with the current process management interface programmes. The Se@vis system creates a secure Ethernet connection between the control system and the combustion process. All its sensors and actuators are connected to a fail-safe single-touch screen that can be operated and its performance optimised from one location.
The interface provides information on all current process dimensions, such as operating conditions, parameters and alarms. The Se@vis system is able to manage other operations, such as firing range control, pressure control, temperature control and level control, as well as automatic firing sequence control and fuel-to-air ratio control. This newly developed system has extended the operational capability of NCP Alcohols to manage the respective processes by accessing process data through a single- point touch screen.
Spring Light Gas CEO Motsamai Koapeng says that cooperation between all parties involved in the project resulted in the conversion being carried out without delays. “NCP Alcohols has clearly demonstrated its unwavering commitment to making a success of this project by not only looking beyond the immediate obstacles and challenges, but by also focusing on the strategic advantages and the long-term benefits for the company and surrounding communities,” he adds.
The gas boiler system has been in opera- tion since August 2008 and has resulted in several benefits for NCP Alcohols. The storing of coal, and the associated risks, such as fire and groundwater contamination, have been eliminated, and the fuel storage area has been reduced, creating a safer operating environment and higher savings through the elimination of fuel storage costs and ash removal costs.
The boiler’s efficiency since conversion has been consistently at 92% and higher. The main advantage of this has been the enhanced efficiency and elasticity of the 32-t/h boiler, which allows for quicker process start-up times, energy that is clean burning and on tap, improved process efficiency and capacity, increased operational efficiency and improved operational response to meet process demands.
There has been a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, as well as harmful stack emissions, volatile organic compounds and ash, with emissions well below the limited values prescribed by law. There is also potential benefit to be had from the sale of carbon credits.
Edited by: Laura Tyrer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Energy News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...