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30 December 2002

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Peter Brotherhood install largest African sugar turbine

The 20 MW Peter Brotherhood steam turbine being lowered into place through a hole in the roof of the Hippo Valley sugar mill.

Technicians from UK turbine manufacturer Peter Brotherhood have just completed commissioning the largest steam turbine ever installed in an African sugar mill.

The 20 MW turbo-alternator set was designed and manufactured by Peter Brotherhood for contractor PMS which is helping to refurbish the mill in Hippo Valley near Chirezdi, Zimbabwe, owned by Hippo Valley Estates.

The 50 tonne turbine was lowered into place within the mill through a hole created for the purpose in the roof of the power house. Staff from Peter Brotherhood and PMS then installed and commissioned the machine.

The back-pressure turbine will use steam raised from burning bagasse - the waste material left after the processing of sugar cane - to generate the millís electrical power and the exhaust steam will be used in the sugar refining process. This is an extremely 'green' form of power generation as all the CO2 released during the combustion of the bagasse is absorbed again the following year by the growing crop.

Peter Brotherhood won the contract because of its extensive experience of designing, manufacturing and installing such machines. The company has more than 500 steam turbines operating in sugar mills around the world, including more than 100 in Africa.

The machine in Hippo Valley is almost 50 per cent bigger than any similar turbine known to be operating in Africa.

November 2001




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