Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has announced that it plans to spend $1bn on expansion after the Central Bank of Nigeria made the firm one of the three sole importers of the sweetener into the country.
Bloomberg reported that the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ravindra Singhvi, said during an investor conference call on Thursday that Dangote Sugar had put more than a hundred thousand hectares of land under cultivation to grow sugarcane for local sourcing of inputs.
Singhvi was quoted as saying, “The plantations in Adamawa and Nasarawa will be ready by 2023 while work to almost double the capacity of a sugar factory in Adamawa to 6,000 tonnes cane-crushing-per-day is ongoing.”
The firm plans to raise capacity to 1.5 million to 2.0 million tonnes of refined sugar annually by 2024, from 403,846 tonnes as of June. The sugarcane plantations will enable Dangote Sugar to source inputs locally, boost its production and increase sales as Nigeria aims to end importation of sugar to conserve foreign exchange.
The CBN had said earlier in April that it would cut forex supply for wheat and sugar imports but last month allowed only Dangote Sugar and two other companies to import the product. The bank said that the companies had made some progress in local sourcing of raw materials, hence the allowance.
“FG requires us to produce 550,000 tonnes of refined sugar per annum from locally grown sugarcane by 2024. We remain confident of the huge benefits backward integration would deliver,” Singhvi added. PUNCH