Local ethanol plants see automation as a path to increased production and productivity. Sertãozinho, Brazil, was the stage for two of the largest world ethanol exhibitions Sept. 18-21. Fenasucro and Agrocana had 420 exhibitors and attracted 25,000 visitors.
The city is recognized as one of the most important in the ethanol industry. Brazil has 10 percent of the sugar cane cultivation in the world. São Paulo State is responsible for 45 percent of Brazilian sugar cane cultivation. The Ribeirão Preto region, including Sertãozinho, registers 80 percent of the sugar cane production of São Paulo State. Thirty percent of the 340 million tons of sugar cane produced in Brazil annually come from Ribeirão Preto and Sertãozinho.
According to São Paulo State Governor, José Serra, Brazil will continue producing the cheapest ethanol and sugar in the world. “Now, there are 7 millions hectares of sugarcane, and everybody knows that it has about 90 millions additional hectares of soil that can easily be cultivated, of which 25 million are suitable for sugarcane cultivation. We only need to invest in technology.”
It is exactly this that the sugar and ethanol plants in the region are doing, trusting in their automation as the path to increased production and productivity.
The Brazilian company SMAR Equipamentos Ind. Ltda. intends to be a leader in this market, and is ideally located in Sertãozinho, providing easy access to local plants. During Fenasucro and Agrocana, SMAR provided one of the highlights in the automation, instrumentation and control arena. Among several solutions, the company presented the control system System302-7 and the RD400 release, a level transmitter based on guided-wave technology, which is widely used in sugar and ethanol mills.
“The ethanol sector is in a tremendous growth mode. In new enterprises, advanced automation is being installed, but there is also a significant market with existing plants that are in retrofit and technological upgrades,” said Marcus Vinicius Ribeiro, SMAR sugar and ethanol manager. He indicates that the company continues to expand its growth in sugar and ethanol projects every year, and that the market should continue to grow for some time. The future of the Amazonian forest is not threatened by ethanol. In an article published in the “Washington Post” last March, the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva affirmed: “The ethanol is not a direct threat for the tropical forests, because the Amazonian soil is extremely inadequate for sugarcane cultivation.” Brazilian ethanol is a success worldwide and the industrial automation can be expected to prevail as well.