• Mozambique: French Tereos and Brazilian Petrobras interested in ethanol production
• Uganda: Eight new sugar companies on their way
• Tanzania: Imports of Brazilian ethanol to reduce fuel costs
• Mauritius: Increasing exports of refined sugar to Europe
• Kenya: New sugar company opens in Nyanza
• Egypt: Delta Sugar plans to expand production
• Zimbabwe: Tongaat Hulett to support sugar cane project
• Swaziland: Chemical poisons hundreds of fish near Illovo operation
• Mozambique: Strike in Tongaat’s Xinavane and Mafambisse
Mozambique: French Tereos and Brazilian Petrobras interested in ethanol production
On 15 December last year, Tereos Internacional and Petrobras signed a protocol of intentions with the Mozambican state oil company, Petróleos de Moçambique (Petromoc), to study the feasibility of producing and selling ethanol in the country. The protocol involves Guarani, a Brazilian subsidiary of Tereos, and Petrobras Biocombustível, a subsidiary of Petrobras.
Ethanol from molasses would be produced in Marromeu, Tereos sugar factory in Mozambique, which is part of the Companhia do Sena. The factory is listed with an annual processing capacity of 1.2 million tonnes of cane. It is expected that the Mozambican government will introduce legislation requiring a 10 percent ethanol mix in gasoline.
Uganda: Eight new sugar companies on their way
Mukwano Group of Companies, involved in vegetable oil, plastics and household detergents, is one of eight companies which have received approval for sugar manufacturing. Mukwano is to set up a factory in Masindi, with an initial daily processing capacity of 2,500 tonnes of cane. Others licensed companies include Tirupati Development in Nakasongola, Uganda Crop Industries in Buikwe, Kafu Sugar in Masindi, Kamuli Sugar in Kamuli, Sugar Allied Industries in Kaliro, Kenlon in Namasagali and Bugiri Sugar Company in Bugiri. This will bring to 15 the number of licensed sugar factories in the country.
In the long run, the new factories are expected to benefit farmers and consumers, while the announcement comes in the context of the instability of sugar prices in recent months. In August 2011, the government waived a 25 percent import duty on 40,000 tonnes of sugar as production deficits increased. Retail sugar prices have stabilised at 5,500 Ugandan shillings per kilo, up from an average of 2,800 shillings at the beginning of 2011. (USD 1.00=UGX 2,420.00)
An official of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation said the country is ready to import ethanol from Brazil to lower domestic fuel prices by about ten percent. It was reported that such plans have upset Illovo Sugar, Tanzania’s major sugar producer, which has plans to build a 12-million liter per year ethanol factory scheduled to start production in mid-2013.
Mauritius: Increasing exports of refined sugar to Europe
Mauritius will probably increase exports of refined and specialty sugars to Europe by 10,000 tonnes for crop 2011, said recently the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate. Mauritius has a six-year contract to 2015 to sell refined sugar to Sudzucker AG of Germany.
Production for the 2011 crop was forecast at about 410,000 tonnes. Refined sugar output last year was 256,267 tonnes. Sales of specialty sugars, including the demerara and muscovado varieties, will probably increase to 120,000 tonnes from 110,000 a year earlier.
Omnicane Ltd. and Flacq United Estates Ltd. own and run the country’s two sugar refineries, with a combined annual capacity of 375,000 tonnes, while Harel Freres Ltd. is the largest producer of specialty sugars.
Kenya: New sugar company opens in Nyanza
A new sugar factory by Sukari Industry started operations in mid November. Its opening has further encouraged competition for cane, and prices paid to farmers have improved substantially in the south Nyanza sugar belt, which has largely been dominated by SONY Sugar. It is said that around 7,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created by the new factory, which is located in the Ndhiwa district.
Egypt: Delta Sugar plans to expand production
Delta Sugar is reported as operating beyond capacity and plans to raise production by 150,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes of sugar per year. Delta processes mainly sugar beets supplied by thousands of farmers across Egypt. It requires about 7 tonnes of beet to produce 1 tonne of raw sugar.
In other news, Egypt’s state-owned Sugar and Integrated Industries Co (SIIC) bought 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian sugar in late November. The sugar was purchased from traders Bunge and Vitol in two 50,000-tonne consignments for delivery in January and February 2012. Reported price was USD 614.50/tonne on a CIF basis.
Zimbabwe: Tongaat Hulett to support sugar cane project
Tongaat Hulett will support farmers to increase cane production to 1.4 million tonnes (equivalent to 180,000 tonnes of sugar) from the current 488,000 tonnes of cane (or 61,000 tonnes of sugar). The project will also expand areas from 9,100 hectares to 15,880 h along with an expected improvement in cane yields from 54 tonnes per hectare to at least 90 t. Beneficiaries are said to be 872 farmers from the Hippo Valley, Triangle and Mkwasine Mill Group areas. It was added that farmers will employ an additional 3,000 people, bringing their total employment to 6,300 jobs.
Swaziland: Chemical poisons hundreds of fish near Illovo operation
The Times of Swaziland reported on 9 January that a chemical spilled from the Illovo’s Ubombo Ranches into a nearby canal killed hundreds of fish in Big Bend. The canal passes through Nyetane to areas such as Sivungu and Magwanyana. A population of about 5,000 live in the surroundings, while downstream the Mavalela Cane Farmers use the water for irrigation. The Swaziland Environmental Authority (SEA) has visited the area and is awaiting a report from the company.
Mozambique: Strike in Tongaat’s Xinavane and Mafambisse
A five-day strike by 700 factory workers at Xinavane ended on 5 November last year when the workers agreed to return to work following an agreement that they would receive a bonus at the end of the campaign. The strike was in protest that the company had failed to pay workers a wage increase agreed in July, which should have taken effect in October 2011. Workers also complained that they were not being paid for overtime, and for disparities between wages paid to employees working in the same sector.
A strike by seasonal workers in Mafambisse, in Sofala province ended on 24 November, as they had demanded a bonus of 4,000 meticais (USD 150.00). The bonus is usually paid at the end of the harvest. According to reports, Mafambisse employs 4,000 workers, mostly seasonal.
To the sugar unions and workers around the work, and to our readers:
All the Best in the New Year!
Africa Sugar Digest is produced thanks to the IUF Global Sugar project in East and Southern Africa. It appears as news becomes available. Contributions are welcome. The IUF African sugar project is supported by the Social Justice Fund of the Canadian Auto Workers (SJF-CAW), with contribution from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the Labour International Development Program of the Canadian Labour Congress (LIDP-CLC).