Olon S.p.a. is an Italian company that produces Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) using synthetic and biological processes.
With more than 100 years of history, several acquisitions and 11 production plants (in Italy, Spain, United States and India), Olon Spa is today one of the leading companies in the world in the pharmaceutical sector, known for its deep knowledge of chemical and biological processes.
Steam: the key element of production processes. The needs with respect to the power plant
In the pharmaceutical industry, steam is a fundamental element.
It is the most widely used fluid for different functions: heating, air humidification and, above all, for the production and sterilization processes of equipment.
In the Settimo Torinese plant, in the north-east of Turin (Italy), where the company produces active ingredients mainly used in the production of antibiotics, the steam is at the service of the fermenters, the sterilizers of the transfer lines (from a fermenter to the other), but it is also used for heating.
These are activities carried out continuously, so steam must never be lacking.
The thermal power plant is therefore required to have unlimited availability: standard production needs approximately 9 t/h of steam, which becomes 30 t/h in the sterilization phases. Furthermore, part of this steam is used to heat the factory or to power other consumers.
Continuous availability and flexibility are therefore Olon’s main requests for the new thermal power plant, that their previous boiler, outdated and inefficient, was no longer able to meet.
For this reason, the company decided, supported by Cannon Bono Energia experts, to carry out an intervention that would improve the performance of the thermal power plant, satisfying all production needs: availability, flexibility of loads and simplicity of management, reliability and energy efficiency.
The Cannon Bono Energia solution
For these particular process requirements, Cannon Bono Energia has designed and supplied a turnkey system consisting of two CT boilers (water tube steam generators), which guarantee the highest operating standards, thanks also to Cannon Bono Energia’s experience in heat transfer technologies, welding and construction of pressure vessels.
The twin boilers supplied, one master and one backup, are in the HE Smart version, each of them producing 35 t/h of steam and 18 bar of pressure, for the production of superheated water up to 243°C.
Both equipped with a boiler operator exemption up to 72 hours, the boilers are equipped with a control and management system that allows the generator to be fully integrated into the process, adapting autonomously and automatically to production requirements.
The supply also included a Cannon Artes degasser, ZeroGas series, placed upstream of the two boilers, for the removal of excess carbon dioxide and oxygen present in the feed water, in order to avoid corrosive phenomena inside the pipes.
The turnkey system was supplied, installed and started up in just 10 months.
“From the design phase of the plant to its construction, the Cannon Bono Energia staff was impeccable” – Dario Negri, manager of the thermal plant
Ready to start
Given the need of continuous steam availability, the back-up boiler must always be ready to support or replace the main one if necessary: this boiler has been designed to automatically switch from stand-by to complete operation in a maximum of one quarter of an hour.
Efficiency and emissions beyond expectations
The efficiency and emissions values that Cannon Bono Energia guaranteed went well beyond Olon’s expectations.
In particular with regard to emissions, it was required that the plant, without flue gas recirculation with natural gas combustion, had guaranteed emissions of 100 mg/Nm3 of CO and 80 mg/Nm3 of NOx.
Cannon Bono Energia has provided a system able of overcoming the expected: thanks to the tuning of the regulation system that manages the particular burners with which they are equipped, the boilers emit a maximum of 60 mg/Nm3 of CO.
In addition, the entire system is already prepared for a future installation of a recirculation fan that further lowers the emission values, thus avoiding invasive interventions on the system to comply with future regulations.