Guatemala has one of the most efficient sugar shipping terminals in the world

Expogranel, Guatemalan Sugar shipping terminal

Expogranel, located in Puerto Quetzal, is the specialized terminal for handling and shipping bulk sugar in Guatemala, which has positioned as one of the most efficient terminals in the world.

With a system of conveyor belts, shipping cranes and hydraulic bridges, the terminal can receive up to 800 metric tons of sugar per hour and fill a bulk ship at a rate of 2,000 metric tons of bulk sugar per hour on average.

Almacen de azucar en ExpogranelThe hydraulic bridges, sugar launchers, automatic samplers, conveyor belt system, shipping cranes, among others, were designed and manufactured in Guatemala with the support of the Sugar Industry.

Similarly, the bag terminal has an efficient operation that allows it to operate 10 trucks per hour to fill containers with bags of sugar. This design, specialized equipment and professional staff have made Expogranel a fundamental piece for the growth and competitiveness of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry.

The terminal has a capacity to store 58,000 metric tons of sugar in bags.

Before Expogranel existed, a ship of 35 thousand metric tons was loaded in 30 days and today it is done in an average of 18 hours. And it has a sugar shipping capacity of more than 3,500 tons in bags per day.

In addition, the Expogranel laboratory stands out for the reliability and impartiality of its results accredited with the international standard ISO 17025 and the specialization it possesses.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry promotes sports and a healthy lifestyle

Sugar Industry sponsors a football team

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry promotes sports and a healthy lifestyle and this Tuesday proudly announced that now sponsors the FC Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa team of the National Soccer League.

“The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is very committed to issues of health, education, community development, and today we are getting involved in another important activity such as sport,” said Alvaro Ruiz, vice president of the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua-.

Also, Rodolfo Puertas, president of FC Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, current champion of the National League, said “for us it is a privilege to have this association (as a sponsor) and to be able to count on the support of the sugar sector.”

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry considers physical activity as a fundamental element for a healthy lifestyle, and supports events such as the Sugar Race, a 10.5 kilometers route that marks the beginning of the Zafra and has been carried out every year since 1987.

Another important component for a healthy life is food security, the Sugar Industry through the Sugar Foundation -Fundazucar- has implemented the Better Families program that promotes food and nutritional security, as well as the empowerment of women as agents of change and catalyst for development.

The program has been so successful that four municipalities of the South of the country signed a cooperation agreement with Fundazucar for the transfer of the methodology that allows educating mothers in preventive health with sustainable actions to improve the conditions of their children, family and community.

Cengicaña celebrates 29 years of supporting the technological advance of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry

In 1992, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry made the decision to create a specialized center for sugar cane research. This is how the Guatemalan Center for Research and Training of Sugar Cane -Cengicaña- was born, which today celebrates 29 years of working to support the technological advance of the Sugar Industry.

Research on sugar addresses many topics which are grouped into five programs: varieties, integrated pest management, agronomy, industrial research, and training and transfer.

Climate change and technology

Sugar cane varieties

Cengicaña has developed cane varieties that contain more sugar and are more resistant to diseases. In addition, they are adaptable to the varied environmental conditions of the Guatemalan sugar cane zone. Cengicaña scientists have a National Collection made up of 3,085 varieties of cane, which is used for crosses and studies of the plant.

In the case of the Integrated Pest Management program, Cengicaña scientists combat sugarcane pests with biology, by looking for natural enemies of fungi and bacteria, and even owls and hawks.

Cengicaña scientists rely on technological tools for research on plant fertilization and nutrition, irrigation, precision agriculture, among others. In the area of precision agriculture, satellite images from the European Space Agency and NASA are used to monitor humidity and determine the maturity of the cane for harvest. In addition, in irrigation, the development of the app Cengiriego to optimize the use of irrigation water in sugar cane stands out.

Renewable energy production

Renewable energy from sugarcane bagasse

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry is a world benchmark for the generation of renewable energy from sugarcane bagasse, a residue of sugar production. Cengicaña’s industrial research program has helped the sugar mills increase their power generation.

This has been a key factor in ensuring that the Sugar Industry generates up to 35% of the Guatemala’s electricity demand. In addition, with the renewable energy produced by the sugar mills, up to 4 million tons of CO2 is prevented from reaching the environment.

On this day we congratulate the scientists of Cengicaña who with their work help to make the Guatemalan Sugar Industry a sustainable sector.

Main destinations of Guatemalan Sugar

Main destinations of Guatemalan Sugar

Guatemalan Sugar was exported to 59 countries and regions on 5 continents in 2020; and it ranks as the sixth export product of the country according to data from the Guatemalan Central Bank (Banguat).

Guatemala exports 70% of its total sugar production, the remaining 30% is fortified with vitamin A and remains in the country to supply local consumption.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry produces natural sugar that comes from sugarcane plants grown on farms and has minimal processing.

In the top 3 destinations of Guatemalan sugar are countries of the American continent: Canada 256.4 million kilograms (256,351 MT), the United States 189 million kilograms (188,966 MT) and Chile 184.2 million kilograms.

The top 10 destinations of Guatemalan sugar

Main countries of each continent

The sugar produced in Guatemala was exported to all continents in 2020 according to Banguat.

sugar produced in Guatemala was exported to all continents

More than 50% of the sugar that leaves Guatemala is exported to countries on the American continent, in addition to Canada, the United States and Chile, Haiti 83.8 million kilograms (83,754 MT) and Peru 53.3 million kilograms (53,263 MT) complete the top 5.

In the case of the Asian continent, Taiwan is placed in the first position with 130 million kilograms of sugar (130,202 MT), South Korea in second place with 62.6 million kilograms (62,619 MT) and Malaysia in third place imported 46.8 million kilograms (46,830 MT).

Ivory Coast is the main country to which sugar is exported from Guatemala on the African continent with 70.1 million kilograms (70,068 MT), followed by Mauritania with 45 million kilograms (44,994 MT) and very close is Ghana 44.9 million kilograms (44,899 MT).

In Europe, Spain is the country that leads the import of Guatemalan sugar with 37 million kilograms (36,983 MT) followed by Portugal 19 million kilograms (18,882 MT) and Italy 15.3 million kilograms (15,309 MT).

And in Oceania, most of the sugar from Guatemala reaches New Zealand 60.5 million kilograms (60,500 MT) and only about 675 kilograms (0.68 TM) reaches Australia.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has build internal roads to transport sugarcane

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has build internal roads to transport sugarcane

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has created an internal network of roads that benefits dozens of communities on the South of the country. Currently, more than 83% of the sugarcane is transported by internal roads.

Internal roads are those that go between the sugarcane fields and that communicate with the factories. These internal roads help to reduce the circulation of trucks loaded with sugarcane on national routes, while serving communities as an alternative road.

There are more than 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) of internal roads that the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has built and receive maintenance year after year, helping to significantly reduce the traffic of sugarcane on national highways.

Actions for responsible transport

Among the actions for a responsible transport is also the control and monitoring of the speed of the cane transport. The maximum speed in communities and school zones is 20 km/h (12 mph) and 40 km/h (25 mph) on internal roads.

There are also signalmen or flaggers in the sections where the sugarcane transport crosses the roads to avoid accidents.

Thanks to an agreement between the Guatemalan Sugar Industry and the Technical Training Institute -Intecap-, all pilots who transport sugarcane are trained and certified by said institution to guarantee that they have the skills to perform the task.

In addition, more and more women are joining the pilots’ workforce, which contributes to the inclusion of women in agricultural operations.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry increased by 8.6% the generation of renewable energy

Renewable energy from sugarcane bagasse

During the 2019/20 zafra, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated 1,991 gigawatts (GWh) of renewable energy; 8.6% more than what was generated during the previous season 2018-19, when 1,834 GWh were generated.

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry uses the bagasse or biomass from crushed sugar cane, one of the residues from sugar production, for the production of renewable energy during the zafra season, thereby contributing to the diversification of the energy matrix and to the stability of the electricity rate in the Central American country.

The harvest and sugar production season known as Zafra in Guatemala runs from November to May of the following year and each year more than 7.5 million tons of cane bagasse are reused, resulting from the sugar production process, for the generation of renewable energy. This makes the Guatemalan Sugar Industry self-sufficient in the energy field since they generate their own energy, and the surplus is sold to the National Interconnected System.

This generation of renewable energy prevents 4 million tons of CO2 from reaching the environment each year, according to research by the Private Institute for Climate Change Research of Guatemala -ICC-, a technical institution in charge of advising the sugar sector on environmental matters.