Egypt provides land for UAE-built sugar factory

Al Ghurair, which also has interests in property, retail and metals, first announced plans to construct a sugar factory in the country in early 2013.

A baker makes traditional sweets in Cairo. Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
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The UAE’s Al Ghurair Group has won approval from Egypt’s cabinet for the allocation of land for the construction of a new sugar factory in the Minya governorate in Upper Egypt.

The Egyptian minister of industry, foreign trade and small business Monir Fakhry Abdel Nour yesterday said that 60,702 hectares of land had been provided for the new plant, which is expected to commence production in 2017.

The total investment for the new factory will be US$370 million excluding 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh1.28bn) for land reclamation, Bloomberg News reported.

The new plant – announced this year – will be able to produce a total of 400,000 tonnes of refined sugar per year.

Al Ghurair, which also has interests in property, retail and metals, first announced plans to construct a sugar factory in the country in early 2013.

News of the land approval for the project comes two months after the UAE-based agricultural companies Al Dahra and Jenaan announced an ambitious plan to grow wheat in Egypt’s southern desert, in an attempt to curb the country’s reliance on wheat imports.

The plan seeks to resurrect the former president Hosni Mubarak’s Toshka agricultural mega-project, launched in 1997, widely regarded as a failure.

The project is due to produce its first harvest in 2016.

Egypt is the world’s largest importer of wheat, buying in about 10 million tonnes of the cereal per year.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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