The Compagnie Thermique de Belle Vue Ltée is one of several sugar-mills-cum-renewable electricity plants on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
On the global stage, renewable energy production is becoming an increasingly important issue.
Although Mauritius is only 1 865km2, with a population of just under 1,2 million people, it’s a shining example of how political will, combined with strong public-private partnerships, can make for significant progress in this area.
The Mauritian sugar cane growing and processing industry is one of the oldest in the world, currently exporting about 450 000t of sugar annually. In the last 30 years, it has dramatically increased investment in turning sugar cane bagasse (leftover sugar cane storks) into electricity for the Mauritian grid.
The Mauritian sugar industry can produce electricity by burning both coal and bagasse, and currently supplies a massive 60% of the country’s electricity needs.
Some 15% of this is purely from bagasse, but in the next 15 years, Mauritius hopes to produce as much as 70% of its electricity from bagasse as more efficient boiler technologies are developed.
The smoke produced from burning bagasse is also far less toxic than that produced from burning coal. By turning much of the sugar cane’s 70% water content into steam, Mauritius’s sugar mills/power plants are running almost water neutral operations. – Lloyd Phillips
Compagnie Thermique de Belle Vue Ltée.