Sulzer supplied pumps for Brazil water pumping project


Sulzer designed and manufactured six of the largest pumps in the project, to transfer water from the São Francisco River to the drought-affected area.
In the North, BKn 1800 vertical pumps were proposed, with a flowrate of 45’000 m3/hour (26’500 cfm), they would weigh almost 100 tonnes (110 tons) each and require an electric motor rated at 5’500 kW (7’300 HP). Each pump would discharge the water using two-meter pipework with a head of 36 meters (118 feet). For two of the pumping stations on the Eastern section, they would be equipped with BK 1870 pumps and BKn 1470 pumps with flowrates of 25’000 m3/hour (14’700 cfm).
With such large power requirements to drive these pumps, efficiency was one of the major challenges for Sulzer. Since the running costs make up 90% of the overall expenditure of each pump, creating a design that delivers optimum efficiency was a major priority for the project.
With  large castings and a considerable amount of machining to be done, the build time for the six pumps was estimated at 12 to 15 months. All of the work was completed in Sulzer’s Brazilian facilities, which enabled the customer to monitor progress easily.