Savola plans to boost sugar refinery size
Jeddah, June 11, 2007
Savola Group, the Middle East's second-largest sugar refiner, plans to sharply raise capacity at its plant in Jeddah within three years, the company's chief executive said.
'We plan to take the Saudi plant from 1.1 million tonnes (per year) to 1.2 million tonnes finishing very soon, before taking production capacity to 1.5 to 2 million tonnes by 2010,' Sami Baroum said in an interview in Jeddah.
He also said he was 'considering doing something in upstream refining in Iran,' declining to be more specific.
The company expects to commission a sugar refinery in Egypt in September and start commercial operations in the first quarter of next year, Baroum said.
Output from the 750,000 tonnes a year Egypt plant, a joint venture with companies including Tate & Lyle on the Gulf of Suez coast, will supply Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, Mohammad Hassan Ajlan, president of Savola's sugar division, said in an interview in February.
Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, is the biggest Arab consumer of sugar at about 2.5 million tonnes a year, of which 1.5 million tonnes is produced locally. The market is growing at about 50,000 tonnes a year, Ajlan said.
The Egypt plant, Savola's second, cost $90 million, he said. About half its output will meet domestic demand and the remainder is for export. - Reuters