Valmet’s Performance Agreement for recovery boiler boosts performance at Eldorado Brasil

Eldorado's mill in Brazil

Valmet’s Performance Agreement for a recovery boiler with Eldorado Brasil contributed to a 15-month campaign with no washing stops and significant savings. The agreement includes Valmet Industrial Internet (VII) applications with local and remote expert support.

In 2019 Eldorado Brasil, one of the largest pulp mills in the world, initiated a Performance Agreement with Valmet that included a Valmet Industrial Internet (VII) solution for production capacity to optimize recovery boiler production capacity and ­chemical recovery. The solution combines advanced process controls for sootblowing optimization, combustion and green liquor quality optimization, and remote ­services from Valmet’s Performance Center. The agreement also includes local optimization engineer support.

Complete optimization solution for recovery boiler

During 2020–2021, the scope of the agreement was extended with Recovery Boiler Performance Monitoring to monitor the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) in the operation, and Dynamic Centerline Advisor for the recovery boiler to enhance the running models.

The collection of more detailed data showed the possible benefits of implementing a complete optimization solution for the recovery boiler.

The agreement model is based on selected key performance indicators and has been developed with Eldorado Brasil. Studies to optimize the consumption of blowing steam began in 2018, the year before the actual installation. While substantial steam savings were identified in the initial study, the collection of more detailed data showed the possible benefits of implementing a complete optimization solution for the recovery boiler.

The contract’s key performance indicators were agreed to be sootblowing steam economy, production stability and a 15-month boiler campaign without the need to stop the boiler for washing, increasing the availability and production of the entire plant. In addition to the KPIs defined in the contract, efforts have also been made to improve performance as a whole, which generates actions to control emissions and increase the degree of reduction, for example.

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The Dynamic Centerline Advisor application points out the optimal ranges for main variables of the recovery boiler, based on historical best performance.

 

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The Recovery Boiler Performance Monitoring application offers a quick view to the recovery boiler process and indicates if any action is needed in any of the sub processes.

All goals achieved in the first stage

According to the Chemical Recovery Functional Manager at Eldorado, João Vitor Oliver, all the goals were achieved in the project’s first stage. “We strongly believe in this work model, as it brings the supplier closer to our routines and allows operational rationalization. In the case of the recovery boiler, as it is a strategically important area for increasing production capacity, we were able to increase the burning efficiency while maintaining employee safety,” says Oliver.

Expert support on site and remotely

Eldorado is a pioneer in combining advanced process control applications with support from local and Valmet Performance Center experts, who use analytical VII applications that provide information for running the production. “Having both a single supplier for all these solutions and an engineer in the field is fundamental for the optimal flow of information, and greater agility and assertiveness in decision making,” explains Oliver.

 

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Important parameters such as NOx and CO can also be simply visualized with VII applications. Limits for each parameter have been defined together with the customer and Valmet process experts.

“The contract is a success”

According to Oliver, one of the main challenges in implementing the project was combining this initiative with the improvements that already existed in the sector, without interfering with the safety of employees and the integration of the teams. “Even with such obstacles, we can say the contract has been a success. We trust Valmet because of their very qualified specialists, and because we have experience of them as our supplier of boiler technologies. And Valmet is aligned with our values ​​as a company – we know that even when the objectives have already been achieved, the quest for improvements will continue throughout the term of the contract,” says Oliver.

We strongly believe in this work model, as it brings the supplier closer to our routines.

“The results presented in the Eldorado agreement really show that cooperation between companies makes all the difference. On the Valmet side, we feel a lot of freedom and openness in addressing points for improvement, and the Eldorado team is always willing to debate, and once agreed, support the implementation of changes. When we work together, it doesn’t seem like we’re suppliers and customers, but rather a team working for a common goal. This close cooperation has also resulted in the further development of Valmet’s application,” adds Nathalia Leme, Application Manager.

Other potential areas for the Performance Agreement

With the success of the APC implementation of the recovery boiler, Oliver also foresees the potential for this type of Performance Agreement with Valmet in other areas of the pulp plant in Três Lagoas. “We have some sectors that can benefit from such APCs – the evaporation plant, for example. It lacks advanced controls. So we see potential for this type of partnership with Valmet in other segments,” he adds.

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Recovery boiler team of Eldorado Brasil with Valmet’s resident, Luiza Roim.

“Having a single supplier for all these solutions, in addition to having an engineer in the field, is fundamental for the most optimized flow of information and for greater agility and assertiveness in decision making", says João Vitor Oliver, Chemical Recovery Functional Manager at Eldorado.

Valmet Customer Portal facilitates communication

Another tool that has facilitated Eldorado’s routine is the Valmet Customer Portal, a collaborative platform and personalized workspace, which provides easy access to all the offered digital services. According to Oliver, the tool centralizes the main information about the operation, and facilitates communication between supplier and customer.

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“Having a single supplier for all these solutions, in addition to having an engineer in the field, is fundamental for the most optimized flow of information and for greater agility and assertiveness in decision making", says João Vitor Oliver, Chemical Recovery Functional Manager at Eldorado.

“This is a trend that is here to stay on the market. Since the implementation, the Customer Portal has helped us centralize data such as KPIs, reports and order tracking, and has facilitated our employees’ e-learning,” he concludes.

Agreement KPIs

1. Sootblowing steam saving

Keep sootblowing steam consumption between 50 and 60 tonnes/h. *52 and 62 tonnes/h considering boiler load above 8,000 tDS/day.

2. Recovery boiler campaign in 15 months

Perform recovery boiler campaign in 15 months without stopping for washing due to boiler plugging.

3. Production stability

Keep recovery boiler production more stable, represented by the maintenance of the operational efficiency indicator between 97.0 and 98.5 percent.

The contract package

  • Valmet expert team, including a Resident Optimization Engineer
  • APC for Sootblowing, Combustion, Reduction Efficiency and Dissolving tank
  • Valmet Performance Center support

Advanced Process Controls for pulp

Maximizing process performance is a critical success factor as it directly increases profitability.

Process performance services

Process performance services for improved performance and availability of the existing process and automation installed base.