Dangote to Raise Sugar Capacity to 2.75 Million Tons by 2017

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Nigeria’s biggest producer of the sweetener, plans to almost double refining capacity to 2.75 million metric tons by 2017 as it expands its Lagos plant, Chief Executive Officer Abdullahi Sule said.

“We are increasing capacity to enter more African countries beginning with Mali, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Togo this year and Liberia, Senegal and Mauritania in 2014,” he said on a conference call from Lagos, the commercial capital.

Dangote Sugar, which has a 70 percent share of the Nigerian market plans to increase crop production to 250,000 tons a year by 2017 and achieve 1 million tons output by 2020 as it acquires sugar plantations across Nigeria, Sule said.

The Nigerian government has removed duties on imported machinery and spare parts for sugar processing companies from this year, President Goodluck Jonathan has said. It also granted a five-year tax exemption for “sugarcane to sugar” investors and imposed import duties of 60 percent on raw sugar, and 80 percent on refined sugar. Africa’s biggest oil producer wants to revive the agricultural industry to cut imports.

Dangote Sugar shares fell 3.1 percent to 11.04 naira at the close in Lagos. The stock has risen 84 percent this year, compared with a 34 percent increase in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

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