Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
India’s top sugar producer, Uttar Pradesh has so far logged sugar production of more than 10 million tonnes (MT) in the current crushing season 2022-23.
According to UP additional chief secretary, sugarcane and excise, Sanjay Bhoosreddy, while the state sugar output has crossed the 10 MT mark, it is expected to breach the 11 MT mark by the end of May 2023 when the season wraps up.
Besides, about 50 of the total 120 sugar mills in UP have concluded their respective crushing operations and shut for the season.
Of these 120 mills, the private sector leads the chart with 93 units, followed by cooperatives with 24 factories and UP State Sugar Corporation (UPSSC) with 3 plants.
In the current season (Oct-Sep), UP sugarcane area and sugarcane output is pegged at 2.85 million hectares (MH) and 235 MT respectively.
Meanwhile, UP ethanol production in the season tops a record level of billion litres (BL) already. The Centre has mandated 10 percent ethanol blending in fossil fuel.
UP is the country’s leading ethanol producer. Ethanol is a major sugar byproduct, and used for a gamut of downstream industrial purposes, including mixing in petrol, and as industrial input in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing.
Moreover, ethanol value chain insulates the sugar sector from the cyclical nature of the domestic and global sugar market. The diversion of sugarcane crop for ethanol offers a robust avenue to the state’s agrarian economy.
IIT Kanpur to groom military hardware industry
Currently, there are about 85 operational ethanol distilleries in UP with the annual ethanol capacity estimated at 2.45 BL. UP ethanol is exported to the depots of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) both within and outside the state for blending.