Sugar in China – AB Sugar China
AB Sugar is one of the world’s largest sugar producers and operates across 29 sites in 10 countries across Europe, Southern Africa and China and employs around 40,000 people. AB Sugar China is responsible for the Group’s operations in China.
AB Sugar China’s involvement in Chinese sugar industry began in 1995 with a joint venture in a cane sugar factory in Guangxi Autonomous Region, known as BoQing. Through investment and training, the plant’s cane crushing throughput was doubled in 18 months to 5,000 tonnes a day. AB Sugar China subsequently built on this achievement by establishing two additional joint ventures (BoHua and BoXuan) in the following years, as well as adding a second factory within the BoQing joint venture.
The 2009 campaign saw the opening of a fifth factory at Jingchengjiang. This factory has the capacity to crush over 7,000 tonnes of cane per day, together with the necessary agricultural support to develop sugar cane growing in Guangxi. Collectively, the five factories can process five million tonnes of cane and produce over 600,000 tonnes of sugar annually.
AB Sugar China factories are powered by cane bagasse which helps to reduce their carbon footprint by giving them a renewable fuel source. AB Sugar China has a policy of “comprehensive utilisation” for all co-products, so the mills also produce and sell bagasse and molasses.
AB Sugar China continues to work with local governments, R&D institutions and growers across a range of activities to improve sugar cane yields. These include seed breeding programmes, large scale irrigation projects, deep ploughing of land, and grower training & incentives.
In October 2007, AB Sugar China formed BoTian Sugar, and with registered capital of RMB 2.3bn, it is one of the biggest beet sugar enterprises in China.
BoTian Sugar's main objectvies are to work with local governments and farmers to introduce and develop modern beet growing agricultural practices, to accelerate the expansion of beet growing and to expand or rebuild sugar factories to process larger sugar beet crops. These objectives will be achieved using AB Sugar China’s agricultural and operational know-how and ABF’s financial strength to invest in agricultural machinery, production facilities and modern management systems.
Steady progress has been made in the past few years of operation. A new larger factory at Zhangbei began in 2011,and further investments in modern effluent treatment plants in the factories have also been completed.
Today BoTian Sugar operates at 2 sites in Inner Mongolia and Hebei, with a total processing capacity exceeding 1.2 million tonnes of sugar beet and sugar capacity of 150,000 tonnes.
AB Sugar China strives to improve the Chinese beet sugar industry through coordinated development, controlling the environmental impact of its operations, increasing efficiency and bringing economic benefits to the rural areas in which it operates.