Egypt-based Al Nouran said it will build the largest sugar plant, worth $360 million, in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, with the aim of addressing the country’s sugar deficit.
Egypt has long consumed more sugar than it produces, plugging the gap through imports. With nationwide shortages of the country's main staple, white sugar has become somewhat of a must-have luxury item, said a statement from the company.
Al Nouran will begin operating its first of four production lines of 14,000-tonnes beet per day, by Spring 2017, it said.
Sprawled over an area of 1.8 million sq m in Al Sharkiya governorate, the plant is master-planned to include four production lines, closing the current one million sugar deficit in Egypt, and venturing into exports, it added.
M Ashraf Mahmoud, chairman and CEO, Al Nouran, said: “Our plant will reduce Egypt's reliance of imported sugar by up to 25 per cent from the first production line.”
“Additionally, that figure will reach 100 per cent with the completion of our fourth line. This is unprecedented both in Egypt and the region,” he added.
The company also plans to expand with sugar integrated industries such as bioethanol from molasses – a by-product of sugar production which is currently an export product in Egypt – as well as other high value products such as yeast and vinegar, said a statement.
Al Nouran is staged to be a regional leader in sugar production and trade. True to its low-key and forward-looking approach, the company is redefining investment and stability in a global climate that is in need of optimism, it stated.