It is also exploring the feasibility of building a dedicated cane raws refinery at its sugar factory at Cantley in Norfolk, which would increase production by a further 230,000t/year.
As part of its drive to maximise efficiency, British Sugar has traditionally held back and stored a percentage of its beet juice from the annual campaign (which typically runs from around September to February) so that it can crystalise it and turn it into sugar in the spring/summer, when its refineries would otherwise be idle and assets not utilised, a spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
“As part of the summer juice run in Newark, we’ve been doing a new project with raw cane, dissolving it and adding it to the beet juice and increasing our throughput through what we’re calling ‘concurrent refining’.
“If we decide to roll this out to Bury and Wissington we could produce another 120,000/t a year. But no decision has been taken yet.”
Discussions were now focusing on the most efficient way to transport raw cane sugar, which comes in by sea, to British Sugar refineries, he said.