DS Smith mill in Italy improves cogeneration efficiency with ABB’s digitalization

In late 2022, ABB signed a deal with DS Smith to deliver an advanced digital solution to optimize steam and power generation, reducing fuel usage and carbon emissions at its paper mill in Porcari, Lucca, Italy.

The mill operates two paper machines, as well as a state-of-the-art new machine currently under construction and one cogeneration plant, providing thermal and electrical energy to the paper mill and the national grid. This initiative aligns with ABB’s focus on the energy transition and emphasizes the role of digital solutions in reducing environmental impact.

“The four percent reduction in gas consumption and resulting emissions fulfils ABB’s goal of contributing to sustainability,” said Sergio Durando, manager of ABB’s Energy Industries business in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Algeria.

As part of the six-month project, ABB implemented its ABB Ability™ OPTIMAX® Steam and Energy Optimization software solution. “ABB’s digital solutions use sophisticated plant models to better manage the Cogeneration plant operations, helping us to achieve our sustainability targets while increasing profitability,” said Fabrizio Sodini, Power Plant Manager, DS Smith.

The solution has reduced the overall natural gas consumption for the 100 MW Cogeneration plant by 4%, with a reduction in its carbon footprint of about 13,000 t/year. Additionally, ABB Ability™ Optimax greatly improves the ability to follow a power export plan negotiated with the energy market, with an error reduction of about 90 percent compared to previous operational standards.

Overall, the solution has shown a significant cost reduction, thanks to lower natural gas costs and lower CO2 costs. This project demonstrates ABB’s expertise in providing solutions that improve a customer’s financial performance while contributing to their environmental goals.

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