A bagasse-fired boiler has always been treated as one of the equipments forming part of a sugar plant, as its input and output are closely enmeshed with the plant operations. Decades ago, when sugar factories were located in the remote countryside, a sugar plant and its boiler could survive in splendid isolation as the bagasse produced was more than adequate to supply all the steam needed for process and power for the plant as well as its neighbourhood. As excess bagasse would pose problems of disposal, the boilers were not efficient. Simple boilers that could be operated by unskilled operators were in demand. Pile burning in stationary step grate or horseshoe type of boilers with low capacities and low p & t were very popular.