South African group builds sugar refinery in Mozambique

25 July 2017

South Africa’s Tongaat Hulett group on Monday laid the first stone of a refinery to be built next to the Xinavane sugar mill in Mozambique’s Maputo province to turn soft brown sugar into white sugar.

The group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and with operations in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe will invest 500 million rand (US$39 million) in the refinery, which is expected to start producing white sugar as of September 2018.

In a statement, the group said production from the Xinavane refinery will allow Mozambique to replace imports and added that the future factory was designed to allow for future expansion according to the needs of both domestic and foreign markets.

The group, which has a production capacity of 250,000 tonnes of soft brown sugar at the Xinavane plant, said in the statement it intends to increase its presence in the Mozambican retail market and is expanding its distribution network as well as reviewing the size of its packaging.

Mozambique, which currently imports about 90% of the white sugar it consumes, has a low sugar consumption, currently estimated at 9 kilogrammes per person per year, which compares, for example, to 21 kilogrammes per person in Zimbabwe. (macauhub)