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Vacon wins contract in sugar industry in Brazil


The Finland-based variable speed AC drives manufacturer Vacon has signed a contract through its Brazilian partner Vorax Acionamentos e Automação Ltda. With AC drives to be delivered to Usina José Bonifácio, a sugar manufacturing company in São Paulo, Brazil, Vacon will extend its market coverage in the country and further strengthen its position in the sugar cane industry.

Vorax won the contract for a total of 5 sugar mill systems including drives as well as drives cabinet assembly, commissioning and start-up. The systems to be delivered to Usina José Bonifácio will be controlled by Vacon AC drives of 690 V. “For Vacon close cooperation with distributors such as Vorax plays an essential role in development of the multi-channel sales that aims for the widest possible geographical coverage,” says Mr Heikki Hiltunen, Executive Vice President, Vacon.

“The sugar industry is an important market in Brazil, and we are very pleased that such an important customer as Usina José Bonifácio has chosen us as their drives supplier,” says Mr Claudio Luis Baccarelli, Area Manager for South America, Vacon.

Often the primary fuel source at sugar mills is bagasse, the biomass remaining after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Brazil has initiated investments in modern facilities at sugar mills producing cogeneration, i.e. combined heat and electricity (CHP). Heat energy is used at the mill, and electricity is typically sold to the consumer electricity grid. Electrification of sugar mills reduces steam consumption of the system, and thus, more energy will be available for sale. Furthermore, the use of AC drives improves efficiency levels and dynamic response, decreases mechanical stress, and thus, increases production levels.

Brazil is one of the world’s major producers of sugar and ethanol. “With this project, Vorax extends its range of applications in sugar and ethanol plants, where we already have references for example for cane hoists, conveyor tables, conveyor belts, pumps and fans and sugar centrifugal machines,” says Mrs Rosana Moraes, General Manager, Vorax.

Usina José Bonifácio is part of Grupo Virgolino de Oliveira, a major producer of sugar and ethanol, and a member of Copersugar, the main association of sugar producers in Brazil. Copersugar consists of 87 associate members 29 of which are sugar and ethanol production units located in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Paraná, Brazil.

Vacon in brief:

Vacon Group was founded in 1993 for one purpose only: to create, develop and provide AC drives worldwide. The company’s ambition is to meet the most demanding needs of customers looking for the ultimate in performance, ease of use and reliability. Vacon offers AC drives in the power range of 0.25 kW...5 MW. In 2006, the Group revenues totalled EUR 186.4 million.


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