(MENAFN- Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA))
Cairo – The Canal Sugar Company, which United Arab Emirates' Al Ghurair Group owns a controlling stake of, has started operations of its new production plant in the southern part of Egypt to produce 900,000 tons of beet sugar annually. This will be the largest factory in Egypt and the Middle East.
Major-general Osama El-Qadi, governor of Minya, located approximately 245 km south of the Egyptian capital city, was present during the start of experimental operation of the plant, which coincided with the increase in the beet harvest this year to 2,000 tons daily. The factory has been started with a production capacity of 18,000 tons of sugar per day.
The high season of the beet crop for Egypt-based factories starts in early march and runs through mid-July every year.
Investments in the factory
The Canal Sugar Company affirmed that the factory is the largest beet sugar factory in the world with investments of about USD 1 billion. The company aims at developing and reclaiming 181,000 acres of desert land using groundwater, to produce 2.5 million tons of sugar beet per year, and other strategic crops such as wheat, corn and chickpeas. The factory covers an area of 240 feddans.
The project contributes to bridging 75% of the gap between sugar production and consumption in Egypt, which currently stands at 1.1 million tons annually. Annual sugar consumption in Egypt amounts to 3.4 million tons, while production amounts to 2.3 million tons of beet and sugarcane.
In addition to produce white sugar, the company's project aims to produce 216,000 tons of beet pulp and 243,000 tons of molasses annually, which are all exported abroad.
Emirati contributions to the Canal Sugar Company, an Egyptian joint stock company, represent 70% of its capital, distributed between 37% of the Emirati businessman Gamal Al Ghurair Group, which supports the project as a technical sponsor, and 33% of Murban Energy, which supports the project as a financial investor, while Al-Ahly Capital Holding Company, a subsidiary of the National Bank of Egypt, owns 30% of the company's capital, and plays the role of the exclusive financial advisor for the project.
It includes the largest silo for storing sugar in the world, with a storage capacity of about 417,000 tons, and the project contributed significantly to providing 1,500 direct jobs, in addition to direct workers, which amount to about 50,000 farmers and indirect workers.
Kamel Al-Abdullah, CEO & director-general of the Canal Sugar Company, said the company's project in Egypt is not only a sugar factory but a partnership that meets the goals of the country's food security system. He believes that the Egyptians are capable of reaching the self-sufficiency in sugar by bridging the gap between production and consumption, thus reducing imports and their share in the trade balance.
Translated by Ahmed El Nagari and Guilherme Miranda
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