OP Dhanuka, chairman and managing director, said although the company has a crushing capacity of 75,000 tonne a year, for lack of sugarcane it would end the year crushing 20,000 tonne only.
However, given the harvest of sugarcane this season, the company expects crushing to go up by 60% in 2010-2011. But again sugarcane smuggling to Nepal might come in the way of sugarcane availability, Dhanuka claimed.
Riga clocked a turnover of Rs 80 crore in 2008-09 and looks forward to a turnover of Rs 150 crore in 2010-2011. The company had earlier planned an expansion of its Sitamarhi plant in Bihar, raising the sugarcane crushing capacity from from 3,500 tonne crushed per day (tcd) to 5,000 tcd. It also planned to increase its co-generation power capacity from 8mw at present to 33mw entailing an investment of Rs 100 crore. But because of meltdown pressures on the sugar industry, the plans didnt take off, he said.However, the company aims at generating additional 25mw by 2013 and push the excess power to grid after meeting its captive consumption, Dhanuka said.Dhanuka, also a past president of Indian Sugar Mills Association, said that for the season 2009-2010 the cost of producing sugar has increased due to increase in prices of sugarcane by more than 100%, increase in overhead expenditure and lower capacity utilization. The average all India capacity utilization was below 60%, he said.He said although 2008-09 was the break even year for the Indian sugar industry following huge losses in 2006-07,2007-08 & 2009-10 could hardly make up the losses of the preceding year and will end up as being a loss-making year too.