Tongaat Hulett has a worldwide reputation as a supplier of superior sugar technology, most notably the award- winning Tongaat Hulett continuous vacuum pan (over 160 installed around the world) and the original Tongaat Hulett Diffuser. Continuing the tradition of innovation in sugar technology, Tongaat Hulett has developed the following new technologies.

  • An improved process for the refining of sugar, termed GREEN refining technology. (Greatly Reduced Energy and Equipment needs) The name encapsulates both the savings in energy it achieves as well as the reduction in expensive equipment that the technology offers, whilst emphasising its environmental benefits. The core of the technology is the use of cooling crystallisation in place of the conventional evaporative crystallisation process, in combination with multiple effect evaporation. This allows a decoupling of crystallisation and evaporation, thereby enabling a significant energy saving to be realised. This results in a step change in energy efficiency when compared with the current standard technology.

At the Sugar Industry Technologists conference in Osaka Japan in 2015 a paper presenting the technology was awarded the prestigious George and Elenore Meade award for the best paper.

Following successful plant scale testing of this new technology, implementation of the first phase of the GREEN Refining technology has begun at the Tongaat Hulett Refinery.

The process has been patented both locally and internationally.

  • An improved design of the cane and bagasse diffuser. The new modular design is expandable and greatly reduces the cost of manufacture. The traditional tried and trusted benefits of the Tongaat chain diffuser are retained, including adjustable sprays and flexibility in crush rate.

The design incorporates the option of mud recycle (eliminating the need for a filter station), and Direct Clear Juice (DCJ) eliminating the need for a Clarifier. A double head shaft diffuser is currently under construction in South East Asia. 

  • A new three level cylindrical continuous vacuum pan is currently under construction in South East Asia incorporating double effect pan boiling. This follows the successful construction and operation of two cylindrical continuous vacuum pans in Mozambique

Tongaat Hulett has considerable expertise with process design, which is important when installing new equipment since the addition of a new unit always has an overall effect on the mill operations.  The Tongaat Hulett team of engineers, chemists and sugar technologists has expertise in all aspects of cane sugar processing and technology based on a wealth of experience in the sugar industry.

Tongaat Hulett designs have earned respect because designs available are “battle tested” in the company’s own operations. This ensures that the designs are robust and reliable. Furthermore, the company can offer a wealth of hands-on experience to customers during commissioning, training and operation as well as visits to operating plants.


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