Yokogawa to Provide Control for Second-Gen Bioethanol Plant

Oct. 25, 2013
As the main automation contractor, Yokogawa América do Sul, will supply the control system and field instruments for GranBio’s plant in northeastern Brazil, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.

Brazil is a dominant player in the bioethanol market, producing fuel primarily from sugarcane syrup. But GranBio has a vision of a more advanced, second-generation fuel that relies instead on non-food sources such as woodchips and straw. The Brazilian industrial biotech company is constructing the first such plant in the southern hemisphere, and is looking to Yokogawa Electric subsidiary Yokogawa América do Sul to provide the automation for the facility.

Yokogawa has received an order to supply the control system and field instruments for the plant, which will have a production capacity of 82 million liters per year. It is being constructed in São Miguel dos Campos in northeastern Brazil, and is scheduled to start commercial operation in early 2014. When finished, it will be one of the world’s largest second-generation bioethanol facilities, in terms of production capacity.

As the main automation contractor (MAC), Yokogawa América do Sul has been involved in this project from the FEED stage, performing the basic design for a control system and field instrumentation solution that will reduce costs and improve production efficiency throughout the lifecycle of the plant.

Yokogawa will supply the Centum VP integrated production control system to control plant facilities such as reaction tanks and distillation units, and a variety of field instrumentation and equipment including Foundation fieldbus-enabled ADMAG AXF magnetic flowmeters, DPharp EJA series pressure/differential pressure transmitters, and control valves. Yokogawa América do Sul will be responsible for delivery, engineering and operator training.

“The biofuel market is steadily growing, and second-generation biofuel is attracting attention as an environmentally friendly energy source,” commented Satoshi Yoshida, president of Yokogawa América do Sul. “Utilizing its accumulated control and instrumentation experience and know-how, Yokogawa will capitalize on the vast opportunities for growth in the renewable energy sector, a key target industry. In its role as a main automation contractor, Yokogawa will provide the latest plant control solutions and project execution services to the renewable energy sector in Brazil and other markets, and thereby work for a more sustainable future.”

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