Sugar Knowledge International Limited, known throughout the world's sugar industry as SKIL, was established in 1980 to provide consultancy services to the cane sugar sector. It was intended that advice would be available for both agricultural and factory operations. From these modest beginnings it has grown into a company providing a broad range of professional services for all aspects of the beet and cane sugar industries.
The founders of SKIL, and all the current directors, built their careers working for multinational sugar companies such as Tate + Lyle, Booker and British Sugar. This ensures that services are provided with a clear understanding of the corporate context including, perhaps most importantly, full commercial awareness. The company, however, jealously guards its independence from any sugar group and is one of the few truly independent organisations offering professional services to the sugar industry internationally.
It is difficult to identify a single project as typical of the work undertaken by the company because of the diversity shown in the project listings. The work for PTP XXIV / XXV in Indonesia comes closest because it involves several projects ranging from the initial concept to subsequent expansion.
PTP XXIV / XXV, an Indonesian Government company, appointed SKIL in 1981 to assist in establishing sugar estates in the outer islands. SKIL oversaw the development and initial operation of two large estates financed by the World Bank and other International Lending Agencies. SKIL was also retained in later years to assist with their subsequent expansion.
Today SKIL is an independent professional services company with the resources necessary to provide consultancy, project engineering, project management and operational management to both the beet and cane sugar industries, including the utilisation of molasses and other by-products. The company has the flexibility to work with its clients in the way most appropriate to the particular project. Its clients have the assurance of working with a UK registered company with full Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurances.
Since its establishment, SKIL has completed projects in most parts of the sugar world and worked with many International Lending Agencies:
- studies for new sugar developments and acquisition of existing operations
- operational reviews and remedial assistance for agricultural, factory and refinery operations
- design and supervision of agricultural and factory refurbishments
- design and project management of new developments and expansions
- training of staff and management both on site and via external visits
A list of the main projects undertaken is available.
SKIL is steadily expanding its role in the sugar industry, offering a comprehensive range of services:
- operational consultancy in the field and factory to resolve acute problems and guide their recovery through refurbishment.
- development planning and conceptual design at both new and existing sites.
- assistance with raising of project finance.
- engineering design and commissioning.
- contract administration and construction supervision of projects.
- operational management of cane sugar estates.
Most organisations require assistance from time to time, often during projects when work loads peak but also when operational problems arise. SKIL, recognising this, has responded by ensuring that it is quickly able to offer the appropriate help.