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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 08:47

Metso’s automation runs successfully in one of the world’s most modern pulp mills, Suzano Maranhão in Brazil

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Controlling all key processes at the greenfield mill is a showcase of Metso’s global manufacturing and project management capabilities and marks the company as a leading automation partner for pulp and paper makers.

Suzano Maranhão in Brazil, one of the world’s most modern pulp mills owned by Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A., in Imperatriz, Maranhão, Brazil, has run its processes successfully with Metso’s process automation and valve technologies since its startup in late December 2013.

The greenfield pulp mill controls all its key processes with Metso’s integrated automation controls, including wood handling, cooking plant and fiber line, pulp drying and baling, evaporation, power boiler, recovery boiler, causticizing and lime kiln. 

Metso’s technologies at Suzano include Metso DNA distributed control system, valves, a quality control system, analyzers, advanced process controls, an operator training simulator, profilers, a web runnability monitoring system, condition monitoring systems, and bale quality management. 

“I had no previous experience with Metso’s distributed control system, but now can say that Metso is a great supplier for capital-intensive projects like Suzano Maranhão,’’ says Vitor Wuo, Suzano’s Project Coordinator.

“The system has met our expectations thanks to its user-friendly interface and easy operation. The advanced diagnostics and trend features allow faster decision-making for our operational team,” adds Volnei Hilbert, Industrial Manager at Suzano Maranhão.

Metso’s operator training simulator is used in the local school that Suzano is building in the area. The simulator will have important role in training the local work force for the new pulp mill. 

The mill produces 1.5 million tons of bleached eucalyptus market pulp per year. Key technology was supplied by Valmet.

Professional project management in a key role

The project was a real showcase of Metso’s manufacturing and project management capabilities. For example, the distributed control system was engineered in India, Brazil and Finland and manufactured in Finland and in Brazil. Out of the over 1,300 automated valves, the main part was supplied from Metso’s valve factory in China, whereas large valves with special materials were manufactured in Finland. 

DCS system hardware and software testing took place at Metso’s Sorocaba office. To meet the customer’s expectations, seamless and continuous communication for smooth cooperation was mandatory among all the supplier locations and continents.

The location of the pulp mill in northeastern Brazil set some extra challenges for the project. 

“The arrival port in Brazil lacked modern container handling equipment, which required additional arrangements to get the containers to the quay and onto road trucks that transported them 700 kilometers to the construction site. Due to the rainy season, the roads were nearly in impassable condition in some places,” recalls Project Manager Tuomo Marjomaa, Automation, Metso. Despite the challenging circumstances, the construction phase proceeded as scheduled.

ABTCP names Metso repeatedly ‘Outstanding Company in Automation for Pulp & Paper’

To meet the increasing pulp and paper industry demands in Brazil, Metso has strongly invested in expanding its local operations. The company has invested in infrastructure and equipment, offering better service on a quick and competitive basis to its customers throughout South America.

Metso’s expertise, solutions and services for the pulp and paper market help meet customer needs, improve production process efficiency and reduce supplies, raw material and energy consumption where resources are getting limited. 

“As an example of this, Metso has been recognized as an ‘Outstanding Company in Automation for the Pulp & Paper segment’ for seven consecutive years by Brazilian Pulp & Paper Technical Association ABTCP, showing its power as the best automation supplier for the sector,” points out Maximilian Furley, General Manager, South America, Automation, Metso. “We are very proud of the recognition from our customers. We will continue to invest in this industry through our efforts in new technological developments.”

According to Furley, the Suzano Maranhão project is of great importance in positioning Metso as a leading distributed control system supplier in South America. “The DCS market is extremely competitive in Brazil, and now we can say that Metso is even more prepared for future projects.”

In 2013, Metso’s other deliveries to South America included, among others, an integrated automation solution for CMPC Group’s new plant in Guaíba, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. 

Suzano Papel e Celulose is a forestry-based company and one of the largest vertically integrated producers of pulp and paper in Latin America. The company’s main products, sold on the domestic and international markets, are eucalyptus pulp, printing and writing paper and paperboard.

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