In a sugarcane milling plant absolutely everything is of use. The plant is capable of producing energy for its own operations and more. Everything is transformed into products and by-products, without wasting.
Excelling for an adequate cultivation process, Serra Grande and Trapiche mills use 100% of their byproducts, such as filter cake and vinasse; reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, prioritizing organic elements, biologically improving the soil and its physical structure, and thus ensuring greater productivity and longevity to the cane field.
At Serra Grande and Trapiche plants vinasse is neither a problem, nor waste – it is a solution. It is used intelligently and sustainably in our productive chain, bringing valuable benefits to the soil and sugarcane. Technically elaborated projects ensure environmental safety to underground and surface water sources: Diluted vinasse usage in ideal locations, usually high areas, uses gravity across channels in levels and smooths liquid speed in volume-safe sections. Whenever necessary these channels are coated, having safety reservoirs at the end of each stretch, which ensure full use in case of an eventual surplus. The use of strategically located spare motors allows the sprinkler system to pump the surplus onto a different sugarcane field. We intend to expand this project using this by-product as to benefit a larger area of the sugarcane fields.
A project designed by Dr. Salvador Pereira de Lyra is responsible for Serra Grande's agricultural production success. In a low rainfall location with a continued 7 month period of water deficit, weirs built at higher points retain rain water as to control its distribution to the fields during a drier period, ensuring its survival and maintenance. Up to 1961 there were 26 weirs. Aware of his project’s relevance we have built some other 11 weirs, and expanded the old ones – totaling a mesh of 37 weirs interconnected by channels.
We highlight the Maria Maior, with a volume of 4,000,000m3 that also works as a hydroelectric plant. The Improvements increased its production of 400 kWh at the time of Dr. Salvador to 1,300 kWh to date.