Sudan’s White Nile, China’s CAMC Sign Deals to Build Factories

Sudan’s White Nile Sugar Co. signed agreements for an ethanol factory and animal-feed plant with China CAMC Engineering Co., Managing Director Hassan Satti said.

“The agreement is for building the two factories,” which would start production in the crop year ending April 2012 when White Nile plans to begin sugar production, Satti said in an interview late yesterday in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

The ethanol factory will have a capacity of 46 million liters (12.2 million gallons) a year and will use molasses, a byproduct from White Nile’s sugar production, Satti said. The animal-feed plant will produce 100,000 metric tons each year, he said.

Satti declined to say how much the projects would cost. Beijing-based China CAMC Engineering will start building the factories in January, he said upon arrival from a trip to China and India with Sudan’s Industry Minister Awad Ahmed al-Jazz.

The trip also aimed to promote other planned projects by Kenana Sugar Co., which owns a 30 percent stake in White Nile, including Al-Sofeyya sugar factory, a sugar refinery and a port to export agricultural products to be built in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, Satti said.

There was “big interest” from a number of Chinese companies in these projects, with detailed talks scheduled to start in December in Sudan, Satti said. He declined to mention company names.

Double Output

The ethanol plant will be Sudan’s second producer of the biofuel. Sudan currently produces 65 million liters of ethanol per year, at Kenana, the country’s largest sugar producer, which plans to double its output to 130 million liters by 2013, Kenana Managing Director Mohamed El Mardi said in September.

The Sudanese parliament is expected to pass a law this year that would require fuel suppliers to sell gasoline locally containing 5 percent to 10 percent biofuels starting next year, Hassan Erwa, Kenana’s marketing manager said in a September interview in Johannesburg.

Kenana exported its first five million liters of ethanol to the European Union in December.

Sudan is currently Africa’s fourth-largest sugar producer. It has five factories with a total output of about 800,000 metric tons, of which four are owned by the government and the other by Kenana.