Power Solutions: Upgrade brewery power plant and distribution system in Ethiopia

Piet Brouwer Power Solutions field engineers recently delivered a project to our client HBSC for the Bedele brewery in Ethiopia. It was certainly a challenging task to replace the unsafe and outdated distribution while using as many of the existing components as possible and without halting the plant’s operations.

Upon arrival on-site the Power Solutions team found that both the low and high voltage distribution panels were unsafe and the step-down transformers outdated. There was no possibility for parallel operation between the generators and grid connection, which had resulted in high production losses. Two generators were defective and the only one which was usable was unsuitable for parallel operation. Although the power house was still usable, it was not equipped with sound insulation. Last but not least the fuel system was faulty.

The solution was to supply two custom-built containers provided with perfect sound insulation and maintenance opportunities. One of the containers is equipped with a Caterpillar 2250 kVA generator, while the second was prepared at the Piet Brouwer facilities in Urk for the integration of the existing Perkins generator in Ethiopia. The fuel system was provided with new pipelines, pumps and filters.

The high voltage distributor (15 kV), two step-up transformers (2x 1600 kVA) and low voltage distributor (4000 A) were completely replaced. The connections between the generators, transformers and low voltage distributor were fitted with an electrical busbar system to create a clean and organised arrangement. The system now has fully automatic synchronisation and load-sharing including power management. In addition, the client benefits from functions such as remote monitoring, fault finding and maintenance advice.

Together with the brewery, the flexible Power Solutions team made a planning to switch in stages from the feeds that were removed to the new distributors. Despite delays caused by Covid-19 and the political situation in the country, this complex project was delivered to the complete satisfaction of the client.