Tereos has been processing sugarcane in Brazil since 2000 and in the Indian Ocean since 2002. Here are 10 interesting facts about this raw material.
1/ Without a doubt one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants, having been discovered 9,000 years ago, sugarcane originates from New Guinea (Oceania).
2/ Sugarcane is a ‘giant’ grass belonging to the gramineae family. It is the stems, not the leaves, that are harvested. They consist primarily of water, sugar, and fibers known as bagasse.
3/ One sugarcane consists of 5 to 20 stems measuring between 3 and 6 meters in height and 3 and 5 centimeters in diameter.
4/ It is harvested when the sugar is at its most concentrated. This occurs after 12 months on average, and takes place over several months, for up to 240 days. Processing of the cane must begin within 12–36 hours after cutting. One ton of cane produces around 115 kg of sugar.
5/ The 12 Tereos sugarcane factories in Brazil, Réunion Island, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Kenya processed 23 Mt of sugarcane in the 17/18 campaign.
6/ In Brazil, Tereos processes crops from 300,000 hectares of land, and operates a fully mechanized sugarcane planting and harvesting system. The Group is a pioneer in introducing new technologies and precision farming in this field.
7/ Sugarcane accounts for 80% of global sugar production. It can also be used in the production of energy, alcohol, animal feed, and fertilizer. Tereos is a major producer of alcohol/ethanol from sugarcane, as well as from sugar beet and cereals.
8/ Almost half of the sugarcane cultivated by Tereos in Brazil is already Bonsucro certified. This internationally recognized standard aims to ensure the sustainability of production through socially and environmentally sustainable initiatives.
9/ Thanks to its thick roots, sugarcane protects the soil from weather-related risks. On Réunion Island, Tereos is studying different sugarcane varieties in order to find one that provides good yields while being well adapted to the soil and climate.
10/ Sugarcane contributes to an autonomous energy supply. Bagasse, a by-product of sugarcane crushing, is used to generate electricity using steam. In Brazil, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and Réunion Island, Tereos plants are self-sufficient in terms of energy. The energy produced can also feed into the national grid. On Réunion Island, for example, 12% of the island’s electricity is renewable and generated using bagasse.