How To Start a Sugar Mill Project Business

Do you want to start a sugar milling business? Find here a detailed sugar mill project report with investment, project cost for your ready reference. 

The Sugar Industry in India forms the second largest rural-based agro-industry next only to textiles. In view of the steep increase in crude oil prices, the sugar industry has experienced an upswing in the last few years through the realization of better sugar prices. A sugar mill is also eco-friendly and offers the renewable source of energy through the generation of power from its co-product bagasse and alcohol from molasses.

A sugar mill comes under the category of medium to large scale industrial sector in India. The Indian sugar industry is a critical industry. First of all, it services the domestic market, the largest in the world and on the other hand, it supports 50 million farmers and their families. In addition, a sugar processing plant is a very lucrative and profitable venture opportunity for entrepreneurs. However, this is a cash-intensive business. It demands substantial capital investment and strategic planning.

Sugar Mill – Market Potential

Sugar has become one of the essential food consumption items globally especially in the urban areas. The future demand for sugar is expected to increase substantially given the present demand for the domestic market.

Additionally, sugar is an essential ingredient in the numerous processed food industries. The product has also a great demand in the export market. Some of the major sugar importing countries are China, Indonesia, Europian Union, United Arab Emirates, United States, Bangladesh etc.

Sugar Mill Project Cost

The project cost typically depends on the expected production output. Broadly, there are two major investment areas in this industry. These are fixed capital investment and working capital investment. Generally, the fixed cost includes land & building, procuring plant & machinery, registration, licensing, permissions and other preliminary expenses. The working capital includes procuring raw materials, staffing, utilities, transportation, and distribution expenses.

The approximate cost of plant and machinery for a sugar mill for 2500 tonnes processing capacity will be around 40 Cr to 50 Cr in Indian rupees. In addition to this, you need to invest in land, building, housing, working capital, etc. The total investment t will be minimum of 125 Cr for setting a sugar mill in India.

However, you can also consider starting a mini sugar mill according to your investment capacity. And there are several financing assistance available in India. However, you must have the eligibility of taking loans from the banks.

Here is a Stepwise Business Plan Guide to Start a Sugar Mill

In starting this business, you must have a business plan or project report in your hand. It is advisable to start the business with expert help. In addition, try to gather as much as information about the sugar industry in your are.

Broadly, you will need to figure out the specific requirements of space, electricity, water, manpower, etc. In addition, you will need to determine the business size as per your investment capacity and risk-taking ability.

Registration & Licensing

You will need to register the business first. It is advisable to select the right form of the organization according to the investment and management pattern. And go for the registration with ROC in India. After that, you will need to obtain different types of licenses and permissions to run the factory from the Govt. agencies. Nowadays GST registration is a must within a few days of registering your business.

Sugarcane is covered under the Essential Commodities Act due to its perishable nature and the need for regulation on cane supply and pricing. Additionally, if you are looking for export, you need to apply for the certifications. And here also, you must take help from an expert.

Sugar Mill Plant Setup

As this is a cash-intensive business, it is important you make every decision carefully. First of all, you must establish the unit near the sugar producing areas. So, you can easily procure the sugar cane from the farmers or growers.

Additionally, the space requirement of the plant depends on plant capacity. You will need to secure the land according to your business plan. Check the electricity and water supply arrangements. Even a mini sugar mill demands an adequate source of water supply for the operations.

Sugar Mill Machinery

Sugar milling is an integrated process that includes the operation of several machines at a time. Therefore, you must procure the plant from a reliable machine supplier. Here we put a list of some major required machinery.

  • Boilers
  • Washers
  • Knives
  • Shredders
  • Mills tandem
  • Tanks
  • Decanters
  • Vacuum filters
  • Heat exchangers
  • Vacuum evaporators
  • Vacuum pans
  • Crystallizers
  • Centrifuges
  • Fermentation Tanks
  • Pumps
  • Column still
  • Driers
  • Electricity generators
  • Fork lifters
  • Alcohol tanks
  • Molasses tank etc.

Sugar Mill Raw Materials, Products & Byproducts

The main raw materials required for the production of sugar are sugar cane, sulphur, lime, and polyethylene bags. You can procure the sugar cane from the local farmers. However, you will need to ensure the specific quantity of raw materials according to the plant capacity.

Apart from the sugar, you will get two other byproducts that have commercial value. These are molasses and filter cake or press mud. Generally, the distilleries and cattle feed producers are the major consumers of molasses. On the other hand, the press mud is rich in minerals, potash as also the phosphate, sulphites & organic matter which means rich manure. Hence, this is most suitable for soils. Therefore, it is a  very good quality organic manure for agricultural activity.

Sugar Mill Manufacturing Technology

The manufacturing process is not very simple. Therefore, you must hire specific manpower for the smooth operation of the factory.

Step 1

The first step is collecting and procuring the sugar cane after harvesting. Generally, each ton of sugarcane produces about 100 kg of sugar. That means you can transform 10% of the total weight of the sugarcane into crystal sugar. An average yield per hectare is 80 tons of sugarcane.

Step 2

You will need to slice and shred the sugar canes in order to facilitate juice extraction in the crushing process. Generally, you can use three or more sets of three-roller mills to press the juice out of the cane.

Step 3

The next step is the purification of juice. You will need to remove the largest possible number of impurities at the beginning. You can apply sulphur dioxide and lime for purification. Additionally, adjust the final PH to 8-8.5. Then evaporate the clear juice to a concentration of 55-65% sucrose. In addition, you can generate the steam with the help of the boilers.

Step 4

The next step is crystallization. Evaporate the concentrated juice further until you get saturated sugar. As the syrup becomes saturated, sugar crystals are formed. The final step is centrifuging. Here you get the finished sugar. Now the product is ready for packaging and distribution.

Staffing For Sugar Mill

Manpower planning is an important factor in this business. Broadly, you will need to hire employees for three specific divisions. These are production team, sales team and accounting personnel. Additionally, you will need to specify the actual manpower requirement or the each segment in sugar mill operation.