Piet Brouwer Power Solutions: malting plant project reflects strong partnership
The power plant solution for a new malting plant for Boortmalt in Ethiopia not only combines the highest level of technology but also offers a textbook example of a strong partnership between specialists in electrical power supplies with Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology, Applitech and Siemens Energy Management.
“As a family business situated in Urk, Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology first achieved success in the fishery business, with founder Piet Brouwer supplying electrical systems for trawlers. Half a century later, the company serves clients across the maritime sector, from container and coastal shipping to tugs and luxury yachts. Via a commission in the brewery sector, Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology became active in the power solutions sector too.
“Some 12 years ago, a beer brewery asked us to design, install and implement the complete (emergency) power supply and distribution for a new plant in Africa,” explains Director Bram Brouwer. “The client was looking for a single partner for generators and distribution systems. It marked the start of a new division within our company called Power Solutions, which has since realised many turnkey power solution projects in Europe, Africa, Central and South America and Asia.”
One of the largest malt producers worldwide, Boortmalt is constructing a new malting plant in Ethiopia, for which Piet Brouwer Power Solutions is supplying the complete electrical power supply. “Having successfully completed projects in Ethiopia before we know how things work there. Although the economy in Ethiopia is growing fast, market protection is strong. This includes specific regulations for the import of transformers, for instance.” Power Solutions is supplying a turnkey solution for energy generation and distribution, including grid connection. A reliable emergency power supply is also vital in countries such as Ethiopia as the grid may sometimes fall out. “We use medium-voltage systems to lead the power we get from the grid or which is generated locally to the low-voltage systems to ensure that the various consumers in the plant have constant and reliable power,” says project manager Jonathan Mars. “We also supply two diesel generator sets of 2250 kVA each, which can run individually or in parallel. The power management of these sets is fully automated.”
Providing fast and flexible service is crucial to Piet Brouwer Power Solutions, and it selects partners and suppliers that can help achieve this. For the low-voltage distributors, the company wanted to find an alternative to the brand it had been using for years. The choice fell on the Siemens SIVACON S4 system. “Siemens represents quality and has a solid service and partner network from which we can benefit,” explains Bram Brouwer. “This is essential to guarantee our own service quality level.”
Portfolio consultancy professional Dick Roo of Siemens Energy Management then connected Brouwer with Applitech, which has been Siemens’ partner in building energy distribution systems for years. Applitech has a background in emergency power systems and mainly supplies heavier distribution installations. “We often work with SIVACON S4 and have Siemens circuit breakers in stock in case of emergencies,” says director/owner John de Leur. “Our workshop is fully equipped for building such distribution systems. Last year, we invested in a new CNC-driven Modcenter for the fully automated processing of doors and assembly plates, for example. We also added an entirely new copper processing line that optimises the way we handle copper connections in-house, allowing us to punch and bend copper into the most creative shapes.”
There was an immediate click between Applitech and Piet Brouwer Power Solutions, and Bram Brouwer and Jonathan Mars are already looking forward to more joint projects in the future: “John and his team delivered the quality that we require. They are fast, flexible and easy to communicate with. We build panels for our maritime clients ourselves, but industrial projects are not our core business.” John de Leur: “And we think it’s a great challenge to realise distributors of this scope entirely in S4.” Dick Roo: “When bringing together our end clients and partners, we look at the type of client and the nature of the project, and then find a partner to match. It’s great to see that Applitech and Piet Brouwer Power Solutions work together so well.”
The power plant system from Piet Brouwer is fully built up of containers, which are shipped to Ethiopia. Brouwer: “We have prepared everything in Urk, including even the pipelines. Installation and implementation are really a matter of plug & play.” Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology sister company Marble Automation developed the overall automation system. Mars: “This way we can monitor the entire installation remotely; look over the shoulders of the operators, give advice and guarantee that the system continues to operate optimally from our home base in Urk. And we can always send one of our specialists to Ethiopia to provide support on site should that be necessary.” Piet Brouwer Power Solutions will start installing and implementing the system immediately after the materials arrive in Ethiopia.