The second we got off the bus, my nose sniffed in confusion. There was such a strange smell in the air and I just could not place what it was. We entered the plant and were gratefully led out of the midday sun and into an air conditioned room where one of our team leaders, Frank, translated the plant manager’s presentation for us.
The mission of the company is to produce sugar, alcohol, and electricity while staying true to their clients’ needs and being in harmony with the workers, the community, and nature. The plant was an amazing site to see because it is setup as its own little city of production. The fields where the sugar cane was grown and cut had homes for the workers (since cutting cane is a seasonal job) were right next to plant where it was processed into sugar and also refined to make alcohol. Another part of the facility takes the wood waste and biomass materials and uses it as fuel to create electricity for the plant.
Later on we went to the rooftop of the buildings where the boilers were and we could see the entire facility. It was really wonderful and at the same time scary because it seemed that the wind would easily blow us right off the roof at any second! It was really great to see the landscape all around. We were able to see the volcano we had hiked up a few days prior and all the beautiful surrounding mountains.
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