Energy-efficient steam helps US sugar refinery bridge seasonal peaks in production

Flexible rental solution helps lower both CAPEX and OPEX while maximizing agility and bottom line.

Customer challenge

Find a flexible, reliable, and cost-efficient solution to meet seasonal demand for steam during sugar production

Our solution

3 x dual fuel 16t/h steam generating boilers complete with built-in exhaust heat recovery exchangers and all accessory fittings such as pressure reducers, feed water tanks, water treatment solutions, and pressure relief tanks

Discover our steam solutions

The result

An extremely flexible, sustainable, and fuel-efficient solution eliminating CAPEX while minimizing OPEX

Steam boilers are a pivotal link in the processing chain that leads to pure, crystallized sugar. Used for everything from washing and heating to cooking and evaporating, the steam boilers in a sugar refinery typically work around the clock during beet season. But for the rest of the year, most of that equipment is simply left to slowly depreciate while doing little more than take up space. The solution? Instead of investing capital to create additional capacity, simply rent the boilers you need, wherever, whenever for however long you need them. Like our customer did – a largescale sugar mill in the heart of the US.

10 May 2022

Requiring more steam supply during harvesting season

Farmers harvest sugar beet in a country field. Sugar beet harvest with a Sugarbeet harvester an agricultural machine.

The harvesting season dictates the speed of production

A lot of work goes into transforming the humble sugar beet into pure, refined sugar. A lot of work and, as it happens, a lot of steam as well! In fact, at our customer, a large US sugar mill, steam is a critical component of virtually every stage in the process: from washing the harvested beets, to cooking the mash, to evaporating, crystallizing, and drying the resultant sugar. Needless to say, the equipment needed to provide the necessary output represents a significant capital investment. And the money needed to keep it all running, an increasingly significant operating expense. Especially against the backdrop of today’s energy prices!

Lean asset management: from buying to renting

Iceberg of hidden costs

Total cost of usership

The key to keeping both your operations and your balance sheet agile? Consider renting rather than buying additional capacity as part of a flexible approach to peak shaving. As our customer ended up doing, after requesting a thorough cost and risk analysis from Atlas Copco Rental. Our local engineering team was able to make a compelling case, calculating the real added value that comes with the flexibility of only ever paying for the capacity you actually need, when you need it.

Energy efficiency: the solution that pays for itself

One of the other major advantages of renting seasonal capacity is that you can always count on the most advanced equipment, based on the very latest technologies. The 16t/h boilers we supplied to our customer – up to three of them during their production peak – come fitted with built-in heat exchangers which recover energy from fuel exhaust that would otherwise be lost. Which makes them very economical to run. 

Being able to offer the most energy-efficient solution on the market is a big deal for us and our customers. Especially since energy accounts for by far the biggest share of the total cost of generating steam. As such, we can also be assured that we’re offering our customers the lowest possible total cost of usership. Add that to the flexibility you get by only renting what you need, and the solution almost pays for itself.

Total peace of mind: a genuine end-to-end solution

Perhaps the most compelling reason to rent remains the added peace of mind of having a partner you can count on.

Because when you rent from Atlas Copco Specialty Rental, you get more than just state-of-the-art equipment. You get the proven added value of our expert advice and support. From designing, delivering, and commissioning every solution to its decommissioning and removal. In the case of our US customer, that expertise came in handy when designing a solution adapted to their specific needs, space constraints, and existing installations. And most importantly, it made for one very satisfied customer, who we’ll be glad to see back again next season!

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Energy-efficient steam helps US sugar refinery bridge seasonal peaks in production

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