CAIRO: Agricultural conglomerate Cargill has requested a license to build a sugar refinery in Egypt with investments worth LE 600 million, Al-Borsa newspaper reported on Sunday.
The final approval for Cargill s sugar refinery is part of the government s plan to encourage sugar production to decrease the gap between supply and demand in the country, the paper quoted Amr Assal, head of Egypt s Industrial Development Authority, as saying.
The new plant will be in the Damietta area on Egypt s north coast and is expected to start up one year after it receives approval, the paper quoted Hussien Elawendy, Cargill s adviser in Egypt, as saying.
The Industrial Development Authority and Cargill officials in Egypt could not immediately be reached for comment.
Egypt consumes around 2.8 million tons of sugar a year and produces 1.6 million tons. The majority of its imports usually come from Brazil.
Egypt said on January 6 it would import 1 million tons of raw sugar to meet demand in the second half of 2010.
That quantity would also supply enough reserves for the beginning of 2011.
The most populous Arab country has also extended an exemption of sugar imports from duties that started on August 15 until the end of June 2010. Egypt ordinarily has a 2 percent duty on raw sugar and a 10 percent duty on refined sugar. -Reuters