A new $1bn sugar plant will open in Sudan next month aiming to achieve self-sufficiency and boost sugar exports by 2014.
Sudan is one of the largest sugar producers in Africa. However, its government says that 400,000 tonnes needs to be imported every year to meet domestic demand. The new factory has been designed to meet this demand.
The West Nile Sugar Company facility will have a white sugar capacity of 150,000 tonnes annually, rising to 250,000 tonnes by 2013 and 450,000 tonnes in 2015.
Sudan is also planning four more sugar facilities to boost production to more than 2 metric tonnes (mt) by 2016.
Industry Minister Abdul-Wahab Osman said together with two other sugar plants, Kenana and a government-owned entity, Sudan's sugar production will reach 1.5mt by 2014.
"In the coming two years we will be about 85% sufficient (in sugar). In 2014 we will be self-sufficient and we'll be having 100,000mt for exports.”