2 January 2018

Sugar Factory of Huwei

Huwei became my home and there is almost no place I didn't visit yet. For me this small town is not so interesting, maybe because since a few months I always walk the same streets and see the same buildings and nothing can really surprise me.
Although for someone who travel, there are still some places to visit like painted villageChifa Mazu TempleCake towel cafe, Sugar Factory or Nongbo Park.

Now it's a sugar cane season, so I could also see an old train bringing sugar canes to nearby factory. This train can be seen only 2-3 month (around December) when the factory starts producing sugar. Also in this period the factory will be open for visitors, but I missed my chance to visit the factory inside. 

History of Huwei Sugar Factory 

Huwei Sugar Factory (虎尾糖廠) was built in 1907. The first workshop was officially started in 1909, with a daily crushing of 3,300 metric tons of sugar cane. The second workshop was built in 1912, with a daily crushing of 1,600 metric tons of sugar cane. In 1924, the first workshop was expanded to increase the total crushing capacity to 4,900 metric tons, making it the most productive sugar plant in Taiwan. In 1925, the largest alcohol workshop in the  region was added. In 1937 was also added the installation of anhydrous alcohol manufacturing equipment.
But was closed in 1962.

During the Second World War, the sugar plant was heavily bombarded. The first and second factories were seriously damaged. Because the damage to the factory was very serious, the second workshop with less damage was repaired first. At the end of 1945, sugar production began to resume. In 1947, also the first workshop's repair was completed and in the same year resumed sugar production.
Due to decline in sugarcane planting area, the second workshop was shut down in 1961. The first workshop 's crushing capacity was reduced to 3,500 metric tons. In 1967, it was reorganized into a large factory system, in which joined Huwei, Beigang and Douliu Sugar Factory. In 1972 also the Dalin Sugar Factory returned to the management of Huwei General Factory.
The alcohol workshop was closed in September 1976 and the equipment was moved to the new camp by-product processing plant for continued use. In 1990 also Douliou Sugar Factory was incorporated into the Huwei General Plant. Since 2004, tho official name is Huwei Sugar Factory.

Huwei Sugar Factory is one of three traditional sugar factories in Taiwan. The other two are Xinying Sugar Factory and Pingtung Sugar Factory. At present, Huwei Sugar Factory is still engaged in the sugar business and one of two sugar factories still in operation. The other factory is the Shanhua Sugar Factory in Tainan. 

Near factory you can also see Huwei Bridge. It's a historical steel railroad bridge which in the past was used to transport sugar cane. It was the most important traffic line in the early years of Huwei, and the most prosperous city center in Huwei during the Japanese occupation. Huwei Iron Bridge is one of bridges connecting the north-south parallel reserve line. Nowadays, the bridge isn't used, but it's one of attractions in Huwei.

You can also take a walk in Tongxin Park. In part of the park you can see Japanese-style wooden houses, although mostly collapsed. In the past, those buildings was built for sugar factory workers for living.

1. 632, Yunlin County, Huwei Township, Zhongshan Road, 2號虎尾糖廠
2. 632, Yunlin County, Huwei Township, Minzhu 5th Road, 虎尾糖廠日式宿舍

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