The project, named Al Canal Sugar, will be located only about 200km (125 miles) from its market, Jamal Al Ghurair.
Under a deal signed with the Egyptian government, Dubai's Al Khaleej Sugar Refinery which is the world's largest port-based sugar refinery has planned to build agro-industrial complex to produce beet sugar.
Managing director of the refinery said, “The project, named Al Canal Sugar, will be located only about 200km (125 miles) from its market, Jamal Al Ghurair.”
Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said, the project with a cost of around $1 billion, would produce 900,000 tonnes of sugar annually, filling a supply gap in the market and making Egypt self-sufficient in sugar. Al Ghurair said the global sugar market was oversupplied and that sugar margins had to improve by moving production closer to markets.
The project's chief executive, Islam Salem confirmed that the key financial partner for Al Canal Sugar, located in Minya, is Al Ahly Capital Holding which is the private equity arm of the National Bank of Egypt.
He Said, "The mill is expected to start production in mid-2020 with full capacity reached in February 2021."
Salem further said, The project will spread over 77,000 hectares (190,000 acres) supplied with wheat and beet in winter, and corn in summer. The project will have a beet sugar production capacity of 750,000 tonnes during the beet season which runs from February until June, with potential to go up to 900,000 tonnes. "That will make us the largest globally with a daily production capacity of 36,000 tonnes.”
The set up will also have the raw sugar refining technique up to 900,000 tonnes even in the off-beet season. Egypt expects to produce about one million tonnes of sugar from cane this season, which runs from January through May. Egypt also produces about 1.3 million tonnes of sugar from sugar beet each year and consumes about three million tonnes annually.
Nasr said, a mix of private and public sector imports caters to the shortfall in supply Egypt also hoped to eventually export sugar to African markets.
The Minya agricultural land for the project was obtained under a 60-year long-term lease deal while Al Ghurair is the major investor in the project.