The Rwandan government has given permission to Mauritius investors to build a sugar processing factory in the Eastern Province reports the New Times.
Rwanda hopes the factory will help its economy be more self- reliant in sugar production by 2020. The current sugar capacity in the East African country is a 10,000 tonnes per year and the new factory will have a capacity of producing 100,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Rwanda’s projections of sugar demands by 2020 is 160 000 tonnes.
Rwanda imports 80,000 tonnes of sugar annually to try and meet a demand of 90,000 tonnes yearly.
The sugar factory is estimated to cost between 250 million dollars to 300 million dollars is an alternative means to increasing the production of sugar production in the country, with only one sugar factory struggling to meet the extensive demand.
“We realised that if nothing is done by 2020, Rwanda will need about $150 million per year to offset sugar imports,” Trade and Industry minister François Kanimba told the New Times.
The sugar factory will diversify adding into its production, a factory making ethanol- an alcoholic based clean and renewable fuel- produced with fermented sugarcane juice and molasses (molasses is a by-product of sugarcane).
Further into the future, the factory will also establish a plant that will generate 25 megawatts of energy from a sugarcane residue, bagasse.
The sugar factory with the other projects will lead to the total estimated investment of 200 million dollars to 300 million dollars. The factory is expected to start production of sugar in six years’ time, after the initial high cost of investment the factory will start saving Rwanda 150 million dollars annually used in importing sugar.