Friday, January 24, 2014

back in time at the vintage sugar factory

do you know once upon a time indonesia was the biggest sugar exporter in the world? 

i came to the remain of the glory in the gondang baru (former gondangdia winangoen) sugar factory. it's one of few sugar factories were survived nowadays. just 10 minutes driving from prambanan temple.  the factory was built in 1860 by nv klatensche cultuur maatscahapij. it located in a complex comprises of the sugar factory itself, sugar museum, restaurant, and dutch-style home stay (former administrator's home). 

first we went to the sugar museum. the ticket only costs idr 5000. the museum was established in 1982 by the governor of central java, h. soepardjo roestam. the museum shows the sugar plantation techniques was used in the past, the  traditional farm equipment, some cane varieties, and the laboratory stuffs (they have what they called sugar doctor for testing the sugar quality). they even shows the mouse (pest) were preserved in a glass jar. a guide accompanied us explaining the objects in museum but she didn't know much. the museum's building is pretty small so the big stuffs are placed outdoor including traditional sugar processing equipment and old transportation were used; locomotives and horse (or bufallo, not sure) carts.

i bet the display in museum never been changed from the first time it's established until now.

next, we went to the sugar factory. i was really excited! we entered a dutch architecture style building with a very tall ceiling. it's my first time entering a big factory and seeing from a short distance how the machines work. and i was amazed. a-m-a-z-e-d. the big old machines from dutch era still work very well. it was very noisy and the smell of burnt sugar burst everywhere. i saw the labors (all of them are men) working on their own part.

the sugar production through step by step: the sap milking to get the sugar juice, sap purification with sulfitation, sap evaporation, crystallization,  sugar stiring and packaging. the gondang baru sugar factory is the only sugar factory in indonesia which still uses steam as the driving engines. amazingly, the engines run by the sugarcane bagasse as the fuel.

we walked through the machines while the guide explaining the sugar processing. i asked to my guide, what kind of sugar is that? -pointing to the brown sugar on my left. she said it's imported sugar from thailand. because the local cane plantations can't fulfill the needs. it's low quality raw sugar reprocessed in the factory. pathetic.

the canes transportation still use the rail built in dutch era -i realized after the independence the goverment build nothing but setback. a small locomotive pulls open carriages into the factory. on sunday, by paying idr 5000 kids (and adult) can go around the factory area by the old locomotive.

after being around, we rested on the outdoor bench in the garden next to the restaurant over lunch. it's quiet because we came on a weekday, actually it's just two of us. while looking the former administrator's house i imagined the situation in the past :)

gondang baru sugar factory (pabrik gula gondang baru) 
jalan raya jogja – solo km. 25, klaten – central java
monday - thursday 8 am - 1.30 pm/ friday 8 am -11 am/ saturday 8 am - 12.30 pm 


1 comment:

Dwivendu Kumar said...

Thanks for sharing the important points of view with us. It is really very nice blog which describes how to SAP in sugar industry