PaperAge Magazine

ABB to Supply Sappi's Saiccor Mill with Automation, Electrification and Instrumentation for 'Project Vulindlela' in South Africa

Sappi's Saiccor Mill Sappi's Saiccor Mill, situated 50 km south of the port of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, produces elemental chlorine free (ECF) dissolving wood pulp (DWP), mostly for the export market. Project Vulindlela will increase the mill's productions capacity while reducing its environmental imact.

Aug. 6, 2019 - ABB announced that it will provide engineering, procurement and construction for the electrical, control and instrumentation portion of 'Project Vulindlela' at Sappi's Saiccor Mill in Umkomaas, South Africa. Collectively, Project Vulindlela will include a new evaporator, recovery boiler and screening and washing plant, along with upgrades to bleach plant and pulp machines, improved recovery circuits and additional magnesium digesters.

Ultimately, the project will increase the Saiccor Mill's dissolving pulp production from 780,000 tons per year to 890,000 tons per year while reducing its environmental impact.

The scope of ABB's work includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all electrical and automation equipment at the Saiccor Mill.

“Our ability to deliver a complete, multi-faceted solution, centered around a collaborative automation platform that supports the optimization of the entire production process, was key to securing this flagship order,” said John Manuell, Local Business Line Manager for South Africa, ABB Process Industries. “We look forward to helping Sappi reduce its environmental impact with safe processes and equipment, as well as assisting in realizing significant production gains.”

Based on the ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS), the automation solution is the first pulp and paper project to use the single channel, Ethernet-based Select IO, which enables the decoupling of project tasks. This can lead to a significant reduction in commissioning time and helps ensure on-time, on-budget project execution.

Additionally, the solution is complemented with software tools including Field Information Manager to help manage smart field devices and mobile workplaces that will give operators and production staff access to plant information from anywhere in the mill.

“A history of working successfully with ABB gave us full confidence in their ability to provide a complete solution that will help future-proof our operations,” said Wayne Weston, Vulindlela Project Director, Sappi. “As world leaders in dissolving wood pulp, we welcome this pioneering, integrated solution that will help us achieve our Project Vulindlela goals.”

Other ABB Ability digital offerings, such as Asset Management, Energy Management, Safety systems and Manufacturing Operations Management will help provide total visibility into, orchestration and control of Sappi Saiccor's entire operation. In addition to the automation platform, the scope includes the extension of the 132kV distribution infrastructure, the medium voltage reticulation and the process electrification.

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