Initiative has been taken to generate power, refined sugar, ethanol, biogas and bio-compost through co-generation method in North Bengal Sugar Mills Limited aimed at making it profitable through boosting revenue income.
A project styled "Power Generation in co-generation method and Installation of Sugar Refinery at North Bengal Sugar Mills" has been conceived to get the output after best using of its sugar, bagasse, molasses and press-mud.
Main objective of the project is to generate power and to add additional power to the national grid after meeting up its own demand that will help mitigating power deficit to some extent.
It will also contribute a lot towards cutting unemployment problem and poverty through generating new employment opportunities.
Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) will implement the Tk324.18-crore project initiated by the Ministry of Industries, said Engineer Kabir Ahammad Sarker, general manager of BSFIC and director of the project.
Machinery procurement and installation is the major component of the project that will install co-generation, sugar refinery, distillery, biogas and bio-compost plants adjacent to the existing mill by June 2021.
Factory building, residential building, boiler house, power house, coal shed, raw sugar and finished products godown, molasses storage tank and compost yard will be constructed besides some other civil works like land development and machine foundation.
Engineer Kabir Sarker said the project has provision of enhancing the mill's capacity related to generating bio-compost from the press-mud and molasses like wastages (spent wash).
Existing environmental pollution is presumed to be mitigated through using the compost in croplands that will also enhance its productivity.
Besides, the produced bagasse of the mill will be managed efficiently for generating optimum renewable energy and huge quantity of fuel could be saved after the best uses of those instead of farness oil.
"The project will elevate socio-economic condition of the people under the mill zone," said Abdul Kader, managing director of the mill, adding that the ever largest and ancient mill in the region had been established at Lalpur upazila in Natore district in 1933 with initial crushing capacity of 1,220 tonnes of sugarcane daily.
After a long time, the crushing capacity had been uplifted to 1,500 tonnes daily with the addition of new machinery during the period of 1978-91, he added.
Meanwhile, NBSM has set a target of manufacturing 25,160 tonnes of sugar through crushing 2.96 lakh tonnes of sugarcane in 186 days during the current 2019-20 season.
The mill authority has set the target of sugar recovery rate at 8.5 percent this year against last year's achievement of 6.92 percent. It is also purchasing sugarcane at Taka 140 per mound at its mill gate from the farmers at present.
Sugarcane production target has also been set to 4.32 lakh tonnes from 24,000 acres of land this season, said Abdul Kader.
In the last 2018-19 season, the mill had manufactured 13,097 tonnes of sugar through crushing 1.89 lakh tonnes of sugarcane in 145 days. In addition to the sugar, the mill had produced 66,000 tonnes of bagasse, 8,000 tonnes of molasses and 7,000 tonnes of press mud last season.
These are the raw materials for generating ethanol, biogas and bio-compost, said Dr Samajit Kumar Paul, director of Bangladesh Sugar Crop Research Institute, adding that the project will contribute a lot towards local as well as regional economy upon its successful implementation.