Enhancing Power Generation Capacity of Metahara Sugar Factory

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Addis Ababa University


When sugar cane is crushed and the juice separated for crystallization, the remaining dry matter - called bagasse - is burnt in furnace to provide thermal energy. The thermal energy from the combustion of bagasse is used to generate steam which is utilized to drive the power turbines, the mill turbines and for the processes in the plant. Currently, all Ethiopian sugar mills are using bagasse to generate electricity through their cogeneration power plant for self sufficiency and to light the nearby villages only. But many foreign sugar mills are producing and selling electricity from excess bagasse, leaves, trashes of sugar cane in addition to self sufficiency. Metahara Sugar Factory, one of the sugar mills in Ethiopia, fortunately has the potential to use the excess bagasse, which is currently 17.2% of the total bagasse produced, to generate more electric power and earn additional money by selling the power through the national grid or using the power for its own irrigation pump stations. The above figure is determined at the current moisture % bagasse, 50.04%, and average evaporation cofficient, 1.998. But it increases to 30.23% if the moisture % bagasse is lower to 45% and the evaporation cofficient is improved on average to 2.39 by implementing different energy saving opportunities. A total annual savings of more than 14,844,094.19 Birr can be achieved through the use of the excess bagasse. This thesis has assessed the energy resource in Metahara Sugar Factory and determined the steam generation efficiency of the plant. It has also forwarded possible measures to enhance the electric power generation capacity based on measurements, collected data and foreign sugar factories experience.



cogeneration power plant, electrical energy, Metahara Sugar Factory, bagasse, surplus power, excess bagasse