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Indian cane sugar industry


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A sview of sugar industry and its technology/

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Indian cane sugar industry

  1. 1. 1SUGAR INDUSTRY: NATIONAL ECONOMYTABLE INo. of Working Sugar Factories 453Cane Price Per Tonne US$ 20Cane Price paid annually US$ 3700 MillionNo. of cane farmers 50 MillionSugar Production 20.0 Million Tonnes (Raw Value)Annual Tax contribution to exchequer US $ 500 MillionEmployment including ancillary activities 2 Million PeopleFuel Ethanol of 5% blend (Value) US $ 200 Million per annumCurrent export of Co-generated power(Value)US $ 100 Million per annumThe average cane crushing capacity in India, Brazil and Thailand is given below :Country Avg. Capacity (TCD)Thailand 10300Brazil 9200India 3500The Government of India licensed new units with an initial capacity of 1250 TCD upto1980s which was subsequently increased to 2500 TCD. Government de-licensed thesugar sector in August 1998, thereby removing the restrictions on expansion of existingcapacity as well as on establishment of new units, with the only stipulation that aminimum distance of 15 Kms would continue to be observed between an existing sugarmill and a new mill. The number of sugar mills and the growth in capacity over decennialperiod 1980-81 to 2000-01 and in the year 2001-02 to 2003-04 is given in Table No. II.Table No. II: GROWTH IN AVERAGE CAPACITY OF SUGAR MILLSDecennial period ending No. of Units Average Capacity Per Unit(TCD)1980-81 299 16501990-91 377 20302000-01 423 30002001-02 437 32002002-03 433 33502003-04 453 3500
  2. 2. 2Cane Acreage & ProductionSugarcane occupies about 2.7% of the total cultivated area and it is one of the mostimportant cash crops in the country. The area under sugarcane has gradually increasedover the years mainly because of much larger diversion of land from other crops tosugarcane by the farmers for economic reasons. The cane area has, however, declined inthe year 2003-04 mainly due to drought and pest attacks.Table IIISUGARCANE AREA AND PRODUCTIONFROM 1980-81 TO 2000-01 & UPTO 2003-04Year Area under cane (Millionhectares)Cane Production (Milliontonnes)1980-81 2.67 1541990-91 3.69 2412000-01 4.32 2962001-02 4.41 2972002-03 4.36 2822003-04 3.99 236Apart from fixation of statutory minimum price for sugarcane, the industry is alsorequired to share 50% of the extra realisation on free sale sugar over the levy price withthe cane farmers. Delay in making the cane price payment over 15 days also attracts 15%penal interest. For the season 2003-04, the average sugarcane price paid being Rs.950/-per tonne, is much higher than the cane prices, paid in the major sugar producing andexporting countries, where it is linked to sugar sales realisation and is also disbursed in 2to 3 installmentsTempted by such securitisation of price, farmers preferred to increase area under canecausing spurt in cane acreage and sugarcane production significantly. From a level of 154million tonnes in 1980-81, the cane production increased to 241 million tonnes in 1990-91 and further to 296 million tonnes in 2000-01. Since then it has been hovering aroundUnlike sugarcane, where the farmers are assured of a minimum price by way of astatutory order issued by the Government, in respect of all other agricultural cropsincluding food grains, the Government of India only announces the minimum supportprices (MSP). On the other hand, with statutory protection, sugarcane farmers receive theprice as statutorily notified from the sugar mills even when it resulted in sizable loss tothe sugar undertakings.
  3. 3. 3300 million tonnes until last year. In the season 2003-04, however, sugarcane productiondeclined to 236 million tones.Indian Sugar Mills AssociationC Block, 2nd Floor, Ansal Plaza,A.K. Road, Andrews Ganj,New Delhi- 110049 INDIAPhones: +91-11-2626 2294-97FAX: +91-11-2626 3231E-mails:
  4. 4. 4SugarThe sugar industry is one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy and India is nowthe largest producer and consumer of sugar in the world. Sugar is exported from India inrecent years. Maharashtra contributes over one-third of country’s sugar output (36 percent) followed by Uttar Pradesh with 25 per cent. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are theother two important sugar-producing states in the country.There has been record production of sugar during sugar year1999-2000 (October –September) estimated at 18.2 million tonnes.Year AreaUnderCaneCaneProd.MilliontonnesCane UtilizationMillion tonnesSugar ProductionLakh tonnesMillionhectaresForSugarForGur &Khandsari.ForSeed &ChewTarget RevisedProd.2002-034.36 309.9 181 92.0 37 182 192In terms of sugarcane production, India and Brazil are almost equally placed. InIndia, about 60% of cane is utilized for the production of sugar, about 30% for alternatesweeteners, namely gur and khandsari, and the balance 10% for seeds.In Brazil, out of the total cane available for crushing, 45% goes for sugarproduction and 55% for the production of ethanol directly from sugarcane juice. Thisgives the sugar industry in Brazil an additional flexibility to adjust its sugar productionkeeping in view the sugar price in the international market as nearly 40% of the sugaroutput is exported.The annual projected growth rate in the area under sugarcane at 1.5% per annumhas doubled during the last five years. This is because it is considered to be an assuredcash crop with good returns to the farmers vis-a-vis other competing crops.About 35 million farmers constituting about 7% of the rural population areengaged in growing sugar cane. The industry absorbs a sizable portion of the cane cropand provides the farmer with the resources to meet his commitments. Each sugar factorydeals with thousands of cane farmers. Sugar cane being a highly perishable crop, cannotbe transported over long distances. On storing cut cane for more than two days inversionof sucrose to mono-saccharides takes place. Inversion is minimized by shading cuttingsand making quick delivery of the cane, at the mill.
  5. 5. 5Sucrose: C12H22O11Disaccharide of glucose and fructoseQuantitative requirements: Basis: 1 ton of raw sugar (97% sucrose); yield from cane-95%on sucrose basis, 9.5-15% on basis.Sugar cane: 6 to 10.5 tons of 16 to 10% sucrose contentWater: 3 to 4 tonsLime: 12 to 17 kgSO2: 6 to 10 kgProcess description: Canes are shredded in crushers and squeezed through a series ofpressure mills containing grooved walls. Weak juice and make up water are added asextracting fluids before squeezing to optimize juice yield at 95 to 97%The juice is treated with Calcium phosphate, followed by lime to precipitate thecolloids. SO2 is next bubbled through until the pH is 7.0 to7.1. This procedure providesmaximum flocculation of impurities. The SO2 also acts as a bleaching agent. Phosphoricacid or CO2 can be substituted as the acidifying agent.Closed steam in a coil is used to heat and further flocculate the impurities in acontinuous settler. The clarified liquor overflows to the evaporator. The underflow mud isprocessed on a continuous rotary press to recover sugar solution that is either passedforward to the evaporator or backward to the thickener again if it is not clear. The filtercake is used for fertilizer.The clarified juice is concentrated to 80-85 % water to 40% in a 3 or 4 effectevaporator with crystallization completed in a vacuum pan unit The mixture of syrup andcrystal are separated via a high speed basket centrifugal. The syrup is re-concentrated andcooled successively to obtain one or more crops of crystals.The final mother liquor isknown as black strap molasses that is sent to distilleries for conversion to ethyl alcohol.
  6. 6. 6Improving sugarcane juice quality -- Benefits of the ultrafiltration techniqueM. SomasekharA SUGAR mill in the private sector and a national research institute have come togetherand successfully implemented a technique that helps in producing chemical-free, nilsulphur, refined quality sugar.The key ingredients in this technique, called ultrafiltration, are indigenous polymericmembrane modules. These membranes can withstand high temperatures and are only thesecond of their kind used in the sugar industry worldwide.According to the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council(TIFAC), which supported the collaborative project, the only other similar attempt in theglobal sugar industry was by Koch Membrane Systems, US.The sugarcane juice obtained from plantation crop is purified by these membranemodules, which act as filters. The main advantages of this technique are improvedrecovery of sugar, superior product quality and the fact that no chemicals are used.The experiments establishing this ultrapurification technique using indigenous polymericfilters were conducted at the Simbhaoli Sugar Mills Limited (SSML), in Ghaziabaddistrict of Uttar Pradesh. The Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), New Delhi, did theexperimental work.The process has been demonstrated on a 10 tonnes/hr industrial-scale pilot plant. Themembranes specifically designed for the pilot-scale operations by Permionics, aVadodara-based company, withstood continuous operations at 97 degrees C.The technique should has great potential to help sugar manufacturers, especially ofplantation white sugar, who have been facing the challenge of ensuring that the juiceobtained through clarification is of consistently high clarity and low colour.This poses a stiff challenge because of the wide variations in cane varieties, soil andgrowing conditions, climate and, above all, fluctuations in the manufacturing processitself, leading to variations in the juice characteristics, according to TERI.To overcome this problem, membrane-based filtration methods, such as microfiltrationand ultrafiltration, are being tried out. TERI, with funding from the TIFAC under the`Sugar Technology Mission initiative, took up the demonstration project at SimbhaoliSugar Mills Ltd, which was keen on evaluating ultrafiltration for the purification ofsugarcane juice in the manufacture of plantation white sugar.According to the project implemented by TERI and SSML, ultrafiltration trials for threesuccessive crushing seasons beginning November 1997 were carried out at the Ghaziabadmill. The juice obtained had an additional purity of 0.74 units compared to the outputusing the conventional liming-sulphitation process.The other advantages claimed by the team consisting of Drs M. Balakrishnan and A. M.Ghosh of TERI, and Messrs S. N. Misra, N. C. Sharma and P. Ranga Rao of SSML, werea ten-fold improvement in juice clarity and a near 60 per cent reduction in colour. Theprocess itself leads to a drastic cut in the inorganics (iron, silica, manganese and zinc)content in the juice.In short, the TERI-SSML-TIFAC initiative promises to provide an opportunity for theIndian sugar industry to develop a process for the direct production of chemical-freerefined quality sugar without going in for sugar refining techniques.They suggest long-term trials and a commitment from the sugar industry to establish thereliability of this technique in the existing environment. A majority of the sugar mills in
  7. 7. 7the country today use the double-sulphitation technique to produce plantation whitesugar, which needs upgradation to produce international grade sugar, according toTIFAC.Towards this end TIFAC, through its sugar technology mission, helped another privatesugar factory in Barabanki village on the outskirts of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. DSMSugar was extended a soft loan (6 per cent per annum) of Rs 474 lakh from the SugarDevelopment Fund (SDF).Consequently, in the upgradation project minor changes to the existing machinery weremade and a combination of phospho-floatation process for clarification, filtration anddecolourisation deployed to produce sugar with nil sulphur and low ash content.The double sulphitation process used by the sugar mill was replaced to produce raw andrefined sugar of export quality and to meet the demands of the domestic pharmaceuticaland beverage industries.In the quest for providing technology inputs to produce sugar of international standard,TIFAC has been spearheading a Sugar Technology Mission (STM) since 1993. The fivemain thrusts of the mission are:Reducing sugar lossesEnergy conservationSuperior product qualityMinimisation of pollutionValue-addition to by-products.The STM was started in close collaboration with the Department of Food and PublicDistribution. It is one of the first instances when a socio-economic ministry decided towork closely with the science ministry for improvement in technical efficiency of a largeindustry.Having already achieved several incremental technological developments, which arebeing implemented by the Indian sugar mills, the STM will, during the Tenth Plan period,focus on replication of select technologies already evaluated on a plant scale. It wouldprepare schemes for technology upgradation of 15-20 sugar factories for achievingmultiplier effect.In the past few years it has taken up 27 sugar factories for technological upgradation andhelped prepare detailed schemes for the purpose. It has evaluated a number of moderntechnologies and extended financial, techno-managerial support to 19 new technologiesfor their evaluation.