NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), one of Nigeria’s leading foods and agro-allied groups has announced it has acquired an additional 5,200 hectares of land in Sunti Golden Sugar Estates located in Mokwa, Niger state, in line with its expansion plans.
The investment is a move to further reaffirm its commitment to the backward integration strategy of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, as well as the overall growth of the sugar industry in Nigeria.
According to reports by Nairametrics, the upland acquisition will bring the total land size of its sugar milling subsidiary, Sunti Golden Sugar Estate substantially to 22,000 hectares of land, while the total land area under cane will be 15,000 hectares.
The development will immensely increase the production capacity of the sugar estate as it will also translate into the expansion of sugar production capacity of the mill.
Once fully developed, it is projected that Golden Sugar Company, operator of the estate will have over 25,000 hectares of land under cane, including an earlier announced proposed investments in Nasarawa state.
This will result in the production of approximately 250,000 tonnes of sugar per year, significantly increase local sugar production, reduce dependence on food imports, and save foreign exchange.
The company also revealed that the total projected cost to achieve this bold plan is set at a minimum of about N160 billion (US$419m), including the new Sugar mill at Nasarawa.
Expansion plans by other players in the industry
The announcement follows days revelation of BUA Group’s US$300 million investment in Lafiagi Sugar Company (LASUCO) in Kwara State, which is in an advanced stage to completion.
LASUCO, which is an integrated milling factory will comprise of a 20,000-ha sugar plantation, a 10,000tcd sugar mill, a 220,000mtpa sugar refinery, 20,000,000litres per annum ethanol plant, and a 35-megawatt power plant and is set to be completed by Q1 2022.
Meanwhile, Dangote Sugar Refinery has committed over US$700m to its sugar projects to support the Backward Integration Policy.
The company has commenced the rehabilitation and expansion of the Savannah Sugar Company Limited Sugar Factory at Numan, with a key focus to increase production capacity by 6,000 tons of cane per day (TCD).
Dangote has also noted that Sugarcane planting has commenced in two other BIP locations i.e. Tau Sugar Project in Taraba State and Tunga Sugar Project in Nasarawa State.
Regrettably, due to community dispute over the land acquired in Niger State, projected activities have not commenced in Niger State.
The integrated sugar complex to be located in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, comprises an initial 60,000ha sugar plantation and two sugar factories with the capacity to produce 430,000tpa of refined white sugar representing about 30% of the country’s consumption and would be the largest plant in Nigeria.
When phase II of the project is completed, according to the company, it would make it the largest sugar refining plant in Africa.
The initiative is a 10-year sugar development plan aimed to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum of sugar from locally grown sugarcane.
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