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Trapiche Sugarcane Factory

It milled for the first time in 1890, by which time it already belonged to the Companhia Agrícola e Mercantil de Pernambuco.

Trapiche Sugarcane Factory

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Last update: 05/02/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Located in the municipality of Sirinhaém, it was founded, at the former Trapiche plantation owned by Gaspar de Menezes Drummond, in 1887 by José Maria Carneiro da Cunha, who had received permission from the State for its construction.

It milled for the first time in 1890, by which time it already belonged to the Companhia Agrícola e Mercantil de Pernambuco (Pernambuco Agriculture and Mercantile Company).

In 1929, being owned by the firm Mendes Lima, it had 15 fields, 43km of railways, five locomotives and 65 cars. It had the capacity to crush 300 tonnes of sugarcane and produce 3,000 litres of ethanol in 22 hours. The transport of the sugarcane, sugar and ethanol was by its own railway and by barges.

Around 1934, it merged with the Ubaquinha Sugarcane Factory, which was also owned by the Mendes Lima Group, run by Manoel Batista da Silva. The merger was carried out under the Armando de Queiroz Monteiro administration, who was the Group’s sugarcane area director.

In the 1935/1936 harvest the factory produced around 34,000 sacks of sugar, and in 1955/1956 its production reached the mark of 400,000 sacks.

In 1944, Armando Monteiro left the direction of the Mendes e Lima Group’s sugarcane area, purchasing and assuming control of the Companhia Geral de Melhoramentos em Pernambuco (General Company of Improvements in Pernambuco), owner of the Cucaú Sugarcane Factory.

From 1945 to 1962, when Manoel Batista da Silva died, the factory underwent various reforms and was left to his daughter Helena Batista da Silva Perez.

In 1975, the factory was bought by the Brennand Group, who reorganised all of the agricultural area and its industrial unit, also installing a modern refinery with a production capacity of 1,900,000 sacks of refined sugar.

With its own auxiliary electrical generation (2.500 kw), Trapiche also set up a distillery with a production capacity of 200 to 300,000 litres/day of anhydrous, hydrous and neutral ethanol.

The factory provides accommodation, education and medical assistance for its employees.

Recife, 7 August 2003.
(Updated on 9 September 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012

sources consulted

ANDRADE, Manuel Correia de. História das usinas de açúcar de Pernambuco. Recife: FJN. Ed. Massangana, 1989. 114 p. (República, v.1)

GONÇALVES & SILVA. O assucar e o algodão em Pernambuco. Recife: [s.n.], 1929. 90 p.

MOURA, Severino. Senhores de engenho e usineiros, a nobreza de Pernambuco. Recife: Fiam, CEHM, Sindaçúcar, 1998. 320 p. (Tempo municipal, 17).a

how to quote this text

Source:  GASPAR, Lúcia. Trapiche Sugarcane Factory. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009