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March 19, 2012

Sudan to increase sugar production, cut imports, begin exports by 2014

Sudan plans to inaugurate a sugar plant in April, to help reduce the country's import bill and with the aim to achieve self-sufficiency and surplus for export by 2014.

The White Nile Sugar Company will start with an initial annual white sugar output of 150,000 tons, which is projected to reach the plant's full capacity of 450,000 tons in three years, according to a report by Reuters news agency.

Sudan currently imports at least 400,000 tons of sugar annually, despite being one of Africa's biggest producers.

The new plant is said to be a joint venture between foreign and Sudanese investors. Sudan’s Kenana Sugar Co, owned by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Sudan, is the biggest shareholder. Other shareholders are Sudanese firms and two Egyptian investors.

The new sugar plant will also produce power, animal feed and ethanol.

Reuters reports the country's industry minister as saying Sudan's combined sugar output is expected to reach 1.5 million tons by 2014. Investments from China and India are expected to boost that figure over the 2 million ton mark in 2016.

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