Tereos has been active in the sugarcane sector since 2000 in Brazil and 2002 in the Indian Ocean, operating eleven factories in total, seven of which are in Brazil. Sugarcane processing represents the third source of revenue for the Group.
Tereos has employed its agricultural and industrial knowledge to expand production and improve yields, in particular by mechanizing planting and harvesting. The importance of innovation is reflected in honoring environmental commitments and the significant expansion of cogeneration.
Sugarcane represents 80% of the world’s sugar production. The proximity of large, high-growth emerging markets makes the sugarcane sector a powerful lever for diversification at the core of the Group’s business.
An essential source of sugar production since the 19th century, this tropical grass gives us sugar, of course, but also provides ethanol and energy.
Sugarcane is the most important raw material in sugar production: it accounts for between 70% and 80% of the quantity available worldwide and more than 20% of the planet's agricultural production by weight. Sugar is concentrated at the bottom of the cane stalks.
Cane planted between October and December will be cut in the following campaign (12-month cane); when planted between January and April, it is cut in the following year (18-month cane). Harvested manually or by machine, the canes are stripped and then crushed.
Crushing produces a juice and a fibrous by-product known as 'bagasse'. The juice is strained and then heated and mixed with lime to remove impurities. It is then transferred to evaporators to extract a syrup consisting of sugar crystals and a 'mother liquor'. Lastly, sugar crystals are separated in a centrifuge.
Sugar: the juice is used to produce raw crystallized sugar, called brown sugar. It can then be refined into white sugar.
Alcohol: sugarcane juice can also be used to produce traditional alcohols (for the manufacture of spirits, chemistry, etc.) and for use as fuel.
Bagasse: this is used as a fuel to generate the electricity needed to run the factories. Excess power is sold to the electrical grid.