Zambia sugar re-invests in sugar operations (Zambia)

Zambia Sugar, a majority-held subsidiary of the JSE-listed Illovo Sugar Group, had invested $82 million (R1013 126 400.00) at its Nakambala, Mazambuka, sugar operations. The company furthermore said this will give further stimulus to the development of Zambian smallholder cane farmers and provide employment opportunities for local people during the construction phase scheduled for completion in 2016. The project scope includes the construction of a modern, high-specification refinery to more than double current annual refined sugar production capacity to around 100,000 tons and increase annual sugar production capacity from 420,000 to 450,000 tons through a range of smaller factory improvements. This project will consolidate Zambia Sugar’s position as Africa’s single-biggest cane sugar producer and underlines the broader Illovo group strategy of focusing on growth within its domestic and regional markets and downstream opportunities to diversify its product mix. The increased cane supply for the improved Nakambala factory will come primarily from area expansions of which the smallholder development at Manyonyo, involving some 145 individual growers, is a major part. Rebecca Katowa, MD of Zambia Sugar, said the company’s plan is to pay more attention on diversification through value addition to its core sugar products as key to achieving sustainable growth. “This project, together with our previous significant expansion of the agricultural and factory operations serves as growing evidence of this strategy and of our support of government initiatives to promote rural development,” Katowa said. “We are especially pleased that this investment touches on the continuing development of our successful small-holder sector whose increasing cane supplies to the factory are fully supported in the project plan and on further job opportunities for local Zambian people,” she added.—