Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd. through the years

Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Limited (BHSL) was incorporated on 23rd November, 1931 under the name - The Hindusthan Sugar Mills Limited – on the initiative of Jamnalal Bajaj - a businessman, confidante, disciple and adopted son of Mahatma Gandhi. He sought Gandhiji's blessings in this new venture, which, apart from being a sound commercial proposition would also meet a national need. Till then, there were barely thirty sugar factories in the country.

The site selected for the first plant was at Golagokarannath, district Lakhimpur Kheri in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh (UP), an area rich in sugar cane. The original capacity of the factory was 400 tons of cane crushed per day (TCD). Subsequently, this capacity was increased in stages and is currently 13,000 TCD. The distillery Unit at this plant commenced production during the end of World War II in 1944. In the initial few years, the major output was in the form of power alcohol as an additive to petrol, which was then in short supply. The unit was the first to supply alcohol-mixed petrol to the army.

In 1967, a new Company - Sharda Sugar & Industries Limited - was established as a subsidiary of Hindusthan Sugar Mills Limited. Under this new subsidiary, a sugar plant with a cane crushing capacity of 1400 TCD was set up in 1972 at Palia Kalan, a large cane supplying centre at a distance of about 70 kilometres from Golagokarannath. The objective of this new Unit was primarily to help the cane growers of the area supply their produce to the new location closer to their fields, thereby cutting down on transportation costs. The capacity was subsequently increased in stages to reach the present 11,000 TCD.

In the year 1988, The Hindusthan Sugar Mills Limited was renamed as Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Limited and shortly thereafter in 1990, Sharda Sugar & Industries Limited was amalgamated with Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Limited.

The Company embarked on an aggressive Greenfield expansion drive in 2003-2007, starting with a plant at Kinauni, near Meerut (UP), which was completed in a record time of just seven months as against the industry norm of 18-24 months. This facility commenced commercial production in November 2004.

At the end of the expansion project in 2007, BHSL had ten sugar manufacturing locations across UP with a cane crushing capacity of 96,000 TCD and was also the country’s largest ethanol producer with an output of 480 KL/ day.

In an acquisition move, the Company took over the Pratappur Sugar and Industries Limited (PSIL), district Deoria, Eastern UP in December 2005. This Plant, in operation since 1903, had a crushing capacity of 3,200 TCD, which was increased to 6,000 TCD in the subsequent sugar season 2006-07.

PSIL was subsequently renamed Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar and Industries Limited (BHSIL) and became a subsidiary of BHSL. This acquisition provided BHSL a strategic foothold in the sugar-deficient region of Eastern UP and reaffirmed the consolidation that took place in the sugar industry.

BHSIL embarked upon significant new expansions. While the capacity of its existing sugar plant at Pratappur was enhanced, three new sugar units were also set up in virgin, cane-rich areas of East UP at Rudauli (district Basti), Kundarkhi (district Gonda) and in Utraula (district Balrampur). BHSIL then, had a crushing capacity of 40,000 TCD and a distillery with the capacity to manufacture 160 kilo-liter per day of ethanol. The total industrial alcohol/ ethanol capacity of the Company, including its subsidiary, was 800 KL/ day.

With the commissioning of three bagasse-based power co-generation plants at Kundarkhi, Rudauli and Utraula, BHSIL had an aggregate power generation capacity of 95.8 MW. Combined with the power generation capacity of 325 MW from BHSL, the Company’s total generation capacity is 420.8 MW. After meeting its own energy needs, the Company has a surplus of 90 MW. It supplies a significant part of this surplus power to the UP state grid.

In December 2010, BHSIL was amalgamated with BHSL.

The Company’s growth initiative has been led by a strategic focus of attaining global scales of manufacturing and cost competitiveness. Such benchmarking provides BHSL advantages of cost and higher domestic market share where demand is expected to outstrip supply for the next few years.

BHSL is in a unique position. While its planning and processes are benchmarked against global practices, its activities are directed at contributing to the Indian rural economy at a local, grassroots level, primarily in the uplifting of the farmers. The Company embarked on an expansion, the scales of which are unprecedented worldwide, providing tremendous opportunities of employment, infrastructure and community development and contributing to the growth of the rural economy of UP.

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