The beet sugar industry is facing several challenges for the future. The climate change is requiring a transition from the traditional fossil fuel to a greenhouse gas neutral energy source. The available possibilities for this purpose will be outlined in this paper. The recent EU sugar market reform has markedly increased the competition between sugar companies and the resulting lower sugar price has a significant impact on the profit margin of sugar production. In order to keep up with these challenges it is key to make an appropriate use of the available opportunities to improve the cost-efficiency of sugar beet processing. The different means to advance the sugar business are better asset utilization, continuous process improvement, introducing innovative process technologies and further developing a sugar factory into a biorefinery with a further valorisation of (co-)products and wherein synergy is obtained between different on-site process operations. Why and how these different available tools can improve the competitiveness of sugar factories will be discussed in detail. A proper combination and choice of the suggested changes and opportunities will enable sugar factories to get prepared for the future.
Copyright © Verlag Dr. Albert Bartens KG