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25 August 2022

Nordzucker secures sugar supply

Nordzucker starts processing sugar beet on 3 September. Due to the drought in large parts of Europe, Nordzucker expects the Group harvest to be below last year’s level. Solutions have been found throughout the Group to meet the challenges of energy supply. Nordzucker expects the campaign to conclude at the end of January 2023.

Nordzucker is producing its first sugar this year as part of the organic beet campaign at its plant in Schladen (Germany). Nordzucker processes organically grown beet in Schladen, Nykøbing (Denmark) and Kèdainiai (Lithuania) at the beginning of each campaign. The other Nordzucker plants in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia start processing beet between 11 September and the beginning of October.

With slightly higher sugar contents than in previous years, Nordzucker expects the overall harvest to be slightly below the average of previous years. The partly extreme dryness leads to significant regional differences in beet yields. Current planning assumes that beet processing will be completed by the end of January 2023.

Sugar cane processing in the Australian factories has already been underway since mid-June. Heavy rainfall had temporarily delayed harvesting and processing there. A harvest above the previous year’s level is expected.

Securing energy supply has priority

In many factories, Nordzucker had switched the energy supply to natural gas for energy and environmental reasons and had already reduced CO2 emissions by 60 per cent compared to 1990. The current uncertainty in the gas supply has led to particular challenges. “Where possible and necessary, our colleagues have switched the factories from gas as an energy source to oil since the end of February in order to secure the processing of the sugar beet. In this short period of time, this is a tremendous achievement,” Alexander Godow, COO, elaborates. “In this way, we are securing the supply of sugar from regionally grown sugar beet for our customers. In addition, Nordzucker is helping to relieve the tight gas market for the benefit of all consumers.” Nordzucker expects to have sufficient gas available during the campaign even at those locations where conversion was not possible.

The current energy situation encourages Nordzucker to stick to its long-term strategy of producing biomethane from beet pulp to cover its own energy needs. “Our goal is to do without fossil energy in the long term,” explains Dr Lars Gorissen, CEO, adding: “In concrete terms, this means producing biomethane from the beet pulp produced during sugar extraction to generate our own heat and electricity needs, thus becoming climate-neutral and energy self-sufficient. We are ready to start the associated investments once the political framework is in place.”

Planned campaign start of all Nordzucker plants:

CountryFactoryStart of beet delivery
Klein Wanzleben
SlovakiaTrenčianska Teplá21.09.2022
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