Surface treatment inside a molasses container

In the late autumn of 2017, Suomen Sokeri (Finnsugar) utilised FSP’s extensive surface treatment expertise in the Porkkala sugar refinery in Kantvik, Kirkkonummi.

The surface treatment contract comprised the inner surface of a molasses container, and presented FSP with a demanding challenge, as the work had to be done inside the container. The container has a capacity of 5,000 cubic metres. Suomen Sokeri’s Maintenance Manager Jyri Lehtonen has been pleased with the final results of the surface treatment project.

“We chose FSP as our partner, because they are a major name in the field. We were confident that FSP would be prepared to provide us with top-quality surface treatment results quickly, according to the agreed schedule. You can count on FSP,” Lehtonen says.

The two partners have co-operated closely on previous projects, as well. Three years ago, FSP did surface treatment work on another molasses container at the Kantvik sugar refinery.

The partnership was strengthened by FSP’s specialised skills in the surface treatment of containers, and strong expertise in the importance of coating specifications approved for food industry use. According to Lehtonen, the project had two main objectives: to update the surface coating to comply with FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations, and to extend the container’s lifecycle.

Coating recommendations

“The challenge was to stop corrosion and to prevent possible damages to the container. FSP solved the matter and recommended a coating approved for food industru. Now we have a concept ready for future maintenance projects,” explains Lehtonen.

The project progressed in stages. Before the project was started, the container was emptied of the molasses solution, which is formed during the sugar refining process. The molasses solution is pumped into the container and moved from the sugar refinery to be used as raw material in the feed industry. After the scaffolding had been erected and the surface washed and sand-blasted, it was given three paint coats.

“The entire project went smoothly all the way to quality control. Another positive feature was the documentation of the different work phases and inspections.”

Suomen Sokeri Oy

  • manufactures, sells and markets sugar products to the food industry and retail trade
  • approximately 180 employees
  • turnover of € 150 million
  • part of the German-based Nordzucker Group, the second largest sugar producer in Europe
  • houses Finland’s only sugar refinery in Porkkala, and a beet sugar facility in Säkylä