Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004
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By Our Staff Reporter
VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 12. For the first time in Andhra Pradesh a private sector sugar factory is importing raw sugar from Brazil to reprocess it into fine quality white sugar to export it to far eastern markets.
A quantity of 21,000 tonnes of raw sugar was now being unloaded at the Visakhapatnam port to be reprocessed at the NCS Sugars Limited near Bobbili in Viziangaram district. Another load of 26,000 tonnes will reach here in August.
The import price is 208 dollars per tone while the current international price of white sugar is 290 dollars and is expected to increase. "Apart from the profit, the reprocessing of raw sugar will keep our factory engaged during the off-season,'' said the managing director of the NCS Sugars, N. Nageswara Rao, at a press conference here on Monday.
The NCS group took over the factory two years ago and installed equipment worth Rs. 2 crores to reprocess the raw sugar to achieve a conversion capacity of 250 to 300 tons during a day. Instead of 60 employees engaged during off-season, the factory will be able to give employment to about 300 due to reprocessing method. The actual employee strength of this factory with a crushing capacity of 2,500 tonnes at present is 450.
The raw sugar is received with molasses, gums and other impurities. It is measured as about 800 units of International Colour for Uniform Method of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA) and has to be reduced to below 100 before being exported to far eastern countries.
While NCS Sugars is the first factory to start reprocessing raw sugar, some factories in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka started the process a few months ago.
The reprocessing method might be adopted by about 90 factories located near coast, out of the total 450 sugar factories operating in the country, Mr. Nageswara Rao felt. At present five lakh tonnes of raw sugar was being imported from the factories in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and A.P. and an equal quantity might be imported later this year. The factories reprocessing the sugar need not pay taxes or levies since they would be exporting the processed white sugar. In case they wanted to sell in the Indian market, the duty they had to pay was 60 per cent. The sugar factories were seeking the Govenrment to waive the duty or levy or keep it as low as five per cent.
A director of the factory, N. Srinivas, its general manager, K.V.L.N. Bhaswanth, were also present at the press conference.
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