Maharashtra’s sugar industry helps alleviate power shortage

PUNE As the state faced a shortage of coal and consequent power outages during the summer season, it was the sugar industry that came to the rescue of the state. Maharashtra Sugar Mills generated up to 675.57 crore of electricity from their cogeneration plants and earned Rs 2,428 crore from selling electricity.

Maharashtra Sugar Commissioner, Shekhar Gaikwad said, “Maharashtra’s sugar industry is diversifying and earning money from different sources. This helps to get good rates for sugar cane growers.

Gaikwad said, “By selling 384.30 crore of electric units, the sugar mills got revenue of Rs2428.78 crore.”

According to data released by the Sugar Commissioner on Tuesday, the sugar industry generated up to 675.57 crore units of electricity during the 2020-21 crushing season, of which 384.30 units were sold to the power grid while the remaining 212.99 crore units were consumed. by the factories themselves. As the factories used the electricity generated by themselves, this also helped to reduce the state’s electricity load.

According to Gaikwad, the sugar industry, which includes cooperative and private sugar mills, has created the capacity to generate 2,254 MW of electricity from various cogeneration units. A total of 122 sugar mills have installed or are in the process of installing cogeneration plants in the state.

Recently, while addressing a sugar conference at the Vasant Dada Sugar Institute, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar said, “Many private companies are proposing solar projects . Solar companies are asking sugar factories if they can install solar panels above sugar factory units. Solar companies not only bear investment costs, but also share revenue with sugar mills by selling solar energy. »

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Sugar factories generating electricity and earning additional revenue, data 2020-21

A total of 122 sugar factories have set up cogeneration plants

Total energy production – 675,557 crore units

Electricity sold – 384.30 crore units

Electricity consumed by factories themselves – 212.99 crore units

Total revenue earned by factories from selling electricity – Rs2,428.78 crore

Rachel J. Bradford