ANGOLA – Sovena, a Portuguese family group, has invested around US$20 million in equipment and stocks in Luanda, according to news agency Jornal de Angola.

Citing a statement note from the company, the news agency reported that the new facility has packaging lines with a capacity for 45 million liters of oil per year and has additional room for future expansion.

The factory currently employs 18 local staff, a number that will increase to 50 people by the end of 2023, with the implementation of a second shift.

Indirectly, Sovena anticipates that the oil processing facility is expected to creat at least least 100 jobs.

“The opening of a Fula oil factory in Luanda, a reference for soybean oils in Angola, last July marks the beginning of Sovena’s integration into the national food production chain and the objective of developing the Angolan countryside,” Sovena said in the statement seen by Jornal de Angola.

The factory will certainly have access to raw materials as Angola’s soybean oil production has been increasing steadily over the past few years.

In 2021, the country produced an estimated 104,000 metric tons of soybean oil. This is up from 98,000 metric tons in 2020 and 92,000 metric tons in 2019.

The demand for soybean oil in Angola is also on the rise. In 2021, consumption is estimated at 86 thousand metric tons, a 1% year-on-year increase from 2020.

Angola however relies on imports to meet demand. In 2021, the country imported 282,000 metric tons of soybean oil, valued at US$180 million.

The new facility is therefore expected to boost local production to meet demand thus helping the country to save on foreign exchange currently used to import soybean oil mainly from Argentina, Brazil, and Ukraine.

Founded in 1956, Sovena Group is one of the largest producers of cooking oils, olive oils, olives, and soap in Portugal.

Sovena Group has a diversified portfolio of brands, including Oliveira da Serra, Andorinha, Fula, Olivari, Fontoliva, Soleada, Fontasol, Flor de Olivo, Tri-Fri, Vêgê, and GEM.

Its investment in Angola coms at a time when the global soybean oil market is set to expand significantly, with a projected market size of US$ 122.67 Billion by 2028, according to a recent report by Research and Markets.

The global soybean oil market is projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.84% between 2022 and 2028, according to the same report.

This substantial growth is expected to be driven by several factors, including the high smoke point and affordability of soybean oil, making it the second-largest source of vegetable oil globally.

The health benefits associated with soybean oil, such as maintaining a healthy body weight, lowering cholesterol levels, and enhancing immune system performance, have contributed to its rising global demand.