Global engineering and technology corporation Metso began supplying more than 700 automated process valves to pulp and paper producer Sappi’s Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, in August 2012 for its Project GoCell, Fibre Line 3 expansion.
Besides the supply of traditional automated process valves, the company will also supply stainless steel, duplex stainless steel, titanium, SMO-grade high-alloy austenitic stainless steel and ceramic material valves in nominal pipe sizes (DN) from DN25 to DN500.
These valves are in the process of being supplied to the mill, with the final batch arriv- ing before the end of March.
The $340-million Project GoCell expansion entails the construction of a new fibre line at Ngodwana, which will produce 210 000 t/y of chemical cellulose, also known as dissolving wood pulp and is on track for commissioning by mid-2013.
Chemical cellulose is used to produce viscose staple fibre and, in turn, textiles that can breathe, unlike oil-based textiles like polyester.
This type of pulp can also be used in the production of cellphone screens and pharmaceutical and household products.
Metso’s long-standing relationship with Sappi’s Ngodwana mill has been strengthened by the new contract for automated valves and services to increase the mill’s efficiency, which Metso is confident will contribute to ensuring increased performance of the new plant during its operational life.
Metso was chosen as a supplier because of the proven quality and reliability of its solutions in similar paper and pulp applications worldwide. The existing, large installed valve base at the Ngodwana mill makes it beneficial for Sappi to select Metso’s Neles valve solutions once again, as this will facilitate the successful management of shutdowns, inventories and spare parts.
The decision to choose Metso was further reinforced by the long relationship between the organisations and the quality of the service support provided to the mill, says Metso.
The company supplied valves to the new fibre line’s evaporation upgrade process areas and its recausticising and ash-leaching opera- tions with automated on-off valves and control valves with intelligent Profibus positioners.
The delivery also comprised Neles metal- seated ball valves, segment and triple eccentric Neldisc butterfly valves as well as Jamesbury soft-seated ball valves.
All of the valves were equipped with pneumatic cylinder actuators and intelligent positioners or limit switches.
In addition to typical process valves, Metso supplied specially designed high-consistency valves for the fibre line, as well as capping and discharge valves for six batch digesters at Fibre Line 3’s cooking plant.
All of these solutions will support the mill’s goals of increased efficiency and reduced energy consumption, says Metso.