The processing of sugar cane constitutes the third source of revenue for Tereos. The Group has been active in the sector since 2000 in Brazil and since 2002 in the Indian Ocean.

Key figures

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sugar factories, including 7 in Brazil


million tonnes of cane processed in the year 2017/2018


tonnes of sugar manufactured annually in Reunion Island


Tereos ethanol production sites in Europe


Tereos ethanol production sites in Brazil

High sweetening power

Sugar cane accounts for 80% of world sugar production, making it the principal sugar-producing raw material. Sugar cane is a tall tropical grass. The stems are harvested, not the leaves. They are principally composed of water, sugar and fibres known as bagasse. The harvest takes place when the concentration of sugar is optimal, occurring on average after 12 months, and lasts several months (up to 240 days). One tonne of canes produces approximately 115 kg of sugar.

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Industrial process

Whether harvested manually or mechanically, the canes are shredded and then crushed. This produces juice and bagasse, which is a fibrous residue. The juice is sieved then heated and limed to remove its impurities. It then passes into evaporators to extract a syrup combining sugar crystals and a mother liquor, from which the sugar crystals are separated in a centrifuge.

  • Tereos – Galileo – 07/03/2018
  • Plantio, manutenção e produção da cana-de-açúcar na Guarani S.A

Source of energy

Thanks to bagasse, Tereos also manufactures alcohol and ethanol. A leading global player in ethanol production, the Group produced 1.6 million m3 of ethanol in 2016/2017, primarily used for producing biofuels.

Bagasse is also recovered and then burned to generate electricity from steam. Sugar cane plays a part in energy autonomy. In Brazil, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Reunion Island, Tereos’ plants are self-sufficient in energy. Power generated in excess of these needs is fed into the public grid. In Reunion Island, for example 12% of the island’s electricity is renewable, and is produced from bagasse.

Increasing yields

Calling on its agronomic and industrial know-how, Tereos is developing cane production and improving yields, particularly thanks to mechanised planting and harvesting in Brazil. In Brazil, Tereos processes the harvests of 300,000 hectares of land, benefiting from totally mechanised planting and harvesting. The Group is pioneering the introduction of new precision farming technologies. Very close attention is paid to varieties of cane, with the aim of combining good yield with suitability for specific soils and climates.