European number 2 for processing sugar beets, Tereos transforms the raw material in several different forms, meaning that it has an extensive product range. Thanks to sugar beets, the Group produces over 2 million tonnes of sugar and 675,000 m3 of alcohol and ethanol annually.

Key figures


sugar factories


distilleries in France, the Czech Republic and Romania


refinery in Spain

An essential source of sugar

Along with sugar cane, sugar beet is one of the two principal sources of sucrose used around the world. In temperate climates, the seeds are sown in March and the harvest (known as the campaign) begins in September.

Tereos Syral Marckolsheim – 11 / 03 / 2013

Industrial process

The sugar beets are washed, cut into strips and then soaked in hot water. The sugar stored in the root is released because of the heat, then the juice that is concentrated as a syrup is purified and filtered. With a 65% sugar content, it is then boiled under vacuum to trigger crystallisation.

Other applications

Sugar beets are not only used to manufacture sugar. Tereos also uses them to obtain bioethanol from the fermentation or distillation of the sugar beets, waste and residue (molasses) produced during processing.

The Group also produces animal feed: fibres resulting from the extraction of juice from sugar beets, called pulp, are used as feed for cattle.

In addition, thanks to a process of methanisation, sugar beet can be processed to obtain biogas and vinasse for heating boilers, reducing CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere and making it possible to achieve significant energy savings. Tereos makes maximum use of the raw material by reusing the water naturally contained in sugar beets by reintroducing it into the manufacturing process and then into the natural environment.

A sharp rise in yields

In the first campaign since the ending of sugar quotas, Tereos processed more than 20 million tonnes of sugar beets, a 30% increase compared to the previous year. The Group recorded the longest length campaign of any French sugar factory. This success was due to the commitment of the cooperative growers and Tereos’ teams, as well as the substantial capital expenditure of more than €500 million carried out in recent years.

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