Space-savings & highest efficiency for Südzucker AG  

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Südzucker Sugar Plant, Germany

Reducing OPEX costs significantly by improving the energy efficiency of the drive system

Customer profile

Südzucker AG as Europe’s biggest sugar producer and one of the leading companies
in the food industry operates the sugar factory in Zeitz (Saxony-Anhalt,
Germany). The plant works around the clock from the middle of September
to the beginning of January and produces up to 270,000 metric tons of sugar
per year. Südzucker has been investing in energy-saving technologies in close
cooperation with Siemens for many years. For instance, Siemens supplied the
complete primary power supply system for the sugar factory in Zeitz. Südzucker
continues this strategy within the scope of this follow-up retrofit project aiming
for an even enhanced efficiency.



As sugar production requires an extremely high energy demand, already for a
long time Südzucker has set top priority on maximizing energy efficiency. In this
regard, Südzucker has achieved significant progress in the past by integrating
various Siemens technologies. Within this retrofit project, Südzucker strived for
even higher levels of efficiency and therefore planned to modernize parts of the
plant’s technology. They intended to implement a compact converter with a cell
bypass functionality to continuously keep the plant running and to minimize the
risk of unexpected production downtimes. Südzucker demanded modern plant
equipment including a heat exchanger and a high efficiency drive while the
existing motor was required to be maintained.


As a result the active power increasedby 20% while the reactive power couldbe reduced by 25%.
S. Rosenkranz


Südzucker has been highly satisfied with the existing plant equipment provided by Siemens and therefore decided to continue the longstanding partnership in the scope of this modernization project.


Siemens’ customized solution included the next generation of drive technology with a special version of the SINAMICS PERFECT HARMONY GH180 GenV 10kV. The cell-based converter is equipped with the latest state of the art hardware and meets minimum space requirements. Compared to competitor products it is the most compact converter with space savings of 3.5 m. Especially for factories with limited space, this is a decisive factor. The drive’s modularity allows for a scalable solution that achieves close to 100% availability. This means greater productivity and a significantly reduced total cost of ownership.


Furthermore, the medium-voltage converter is characterized by excellent motor friendliness, maximum efficiency and higher reliability due to features like cell bypass and cell redundancy – Altogether, it is the perfect solution for Südzucker’s requirements. Throughout the entire project, Siemens supported Südzucker as a reliable partner and performed the whole project cycle from one single source including commissioning, services and maintenance.


Product information


  • Increased performance by 20%
  • Reduced energy losses by 25%
  • Best-in-class efficiency of 96.5% for the total medium-voltage drive system
  • Significant space savings
  • Highest reliability and availability with Advanced Cell Bypass system


Together with Siemens, Südzucker managed to achieve its goals: With the new revolutionary SINAMICS PERFECT HARMONY GH180 GenV drive, the sugar factory in Zeitz reached whole new levels of efficiency. The realized energy savings enabled Südzucker not only to further reduce costs, but also to actively contribute to climate protection by operating even more sustainable.
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Interested in more and detailed information?