WideGaps help cut energy consumption in preliming step at Swedish sugar mill

In 1999 Nordic Sugar's Örtofta mill in Sweden added a sixth evaporation step. Six WideGap heat exchangers from Alfa Laval, offering close temperature approach, were installed as prelimed juice heaters.

DATE 2023-11-28

Now, with energy consumption down, the mill sells its surplus energy to the local district heating grid. Production Manager Jerker Magnusson: “The introduction of WideGap plate heat exchangers was the breakthrough for plate heat exchangers in the raw sugar process. The WideGap really works on demanding fluids and the heat economy is superior.”

Energy consumption reduced

At Örtofta waste heat in the form of condensate and vapour from the sixth evaporation effect provides 90% of the heat demand when heating the prelimed juice. The remaining 10% comes from bleed-off vapour from the fifth effect. Calculated as equivalents of steam from the boiler, only 2% of the heat demand in this process step is fresh energy from the boiler.


Alfa Laval WideGap plate heat exchangers
WideGap functions well with fibrous media, such as raw juice and limed juice. A gap of up
to 17 mm between the plates allows fibres and particles to flow easily, minimizing clogging.
The WideGap is suitable for various heating media, such as liquids, steam and low pressure vapour.

  WideGap plate heat exchangers


  • Suitable for fibrous media
  • Plate pattern designed for high turbulence and efficiency
  • Easy to clean with Cleaning-in-Place equipment or mechanically
  • Easy to expand capacity


Nordic Sugar – Örtofta mill, Sweden 
Since 2009 Nordic Sugar has been part of the German Nordzucker group, the second largest sugar producer in Europe.

The Örtofta mill in southern Sweden is today Nordic Sugar’s biggest mill. Production capacity is 18,000 tons of beets per day, and Örtofta is also one of the most heat efficient mills in Europe.

  • Energy savings per ton of beets 2.8 kWh
  • Amount of beets processed
    2009/10 2,450,400 tons
  • Total annual energy savings 6,860 MWh