Cosumar announces by the end of December the completion of its project to build a white sugar refinery in Saudi Arabia. “The project reached 75% completion rate,” said Mohamed Fikrat, CEO of Cosumar, during the presentation of the new visual identity of the group. This is Cosumar’s first international project, launched with a Saudi partner.
The operator is co-investing $ 200 million in the Yanbu refinery (west coast of Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea). The new entity called Durrah Sugar Refinery aims to produce 850,000 tonnes of white sugar a year. Remember that the Middle East region has a deficit of 4 million tonnes of sugar. In other words, the markets promise in the region.
Conducted in partnership with Consolidated Brothers Company and Industrial Project Development Company (Cosumar holding 43.27% of the capital), the future plant will provide one of the largest sugar markets in the world and imports it massively. The sugar operator’s expertise has been used to build the new refinery, whose products will be sold on both the Saudi market and the rest of the Mena region.
In 2018, the sugar group exported more than 350,000 tonnes of sugar, with Mena, Turkey and Europe as the main export markets, as well as South Korea and China. In total, about 40 countries served, representing about 25% of turnover.
In Morocco, the sector currently generates more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. It also guarantees income to 80,000 beet and sugar cane farmers partners. In sub-Saharan Africa, another area where the group exports part of its production, the deficit amounts to 10 million tonnes of sugar.
The challenges facing the markets of the zone are at the level of logistics competitiveness and distribution channels, especially for landlocked countries, whose service takes a lot of time. Today, the group has an effective production capacity of 1.65 million tonnes of white sugar per year, to meet the needs of the domestic market.
Local demand is estimated at 1.2 million tonnes, averaging 35 kg per capita per year. This allows to export more than 375,000 tonnes of white sugar per year (excluding subsidy scheme). In 2020, the group’s ambition is twofold: to set the coverage rate at 50% of the national production needs of sugar and to gain competitiveness over the entire value chain.
The Cosumar group has 5 subsidiaries, 7 of which are located in 5 regions: Gharb, Loukkos, Moulouya, Tadla, Doukkala and Casablanca. The precocity of the rains of the current campaign allowed Cosumar to ensure a rather ambitious program compared to the past campaign. The group started the agricultural campaigns on schedule. That of the cane began on February 22nd. The beet milling campaign, for its part, started on April 15th.
“We expect a global production of around 4 million tonnes of sugar beet and 640,000 tonnes of sugar cane, with average yields of 60 tonnes per hectare and a sugar yield of around 30.5 tonnes per hectare”, announces the management.