Egypt s Sinai Sugar is looking to set up a new LE 400 million beet sugar factory in the province of Ismailia, Al-Mal newspaper reported on Monday.
The investment authority of the province has agreed to the project which is set to start operations in February 2011 and produce 40,000 tons of sugar a year, the paper quoted Abdelfatah Khafaga, the chairman of Sinai Sugar as saying.
The head of Egypt s Industrial Development Authority said he had received the request from the company and the initial approval papers from the province.
They presented a request to the Ismailia investment administration and they have their initial agreement and we are working on granting them our approval within the coming two weeks, Amr Assal told Reuters.
Egypt, which is 70 percent self sufficient in sugar consumption, has been increasing its beet sugar plantations in order to boost local sugar production.
The Investment Ministry raised the price at which it buys sugar cane from domestic farmers by 17 percent this season to try to encourage local production.
The most populous Arab country consumes around 2.8 million tons of sugar a year, including about 1.6 million tons produced domestically.
Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid has said higher world prices would push the sugar subsidy bill in 2009/10 up by more than 70 percent to LE 4 billion. -Reuters