Egypt has long consumed more sugar than it produces, plugging the gap through imports. With nationwide shortages of the country's main staple, white sugar has become somewhat of a must-have luxury item.
But life in Egypt's sugar industry is soon destined to become much sweeter. Enter Egypt's Al Sharkiya Sugar Manufacturing S.A.E. - "Al Nouran"-and the sector's dynamics are about to change.
True to its characteristic low-key and strategic forward-looking approach, Al Nouran is addressing the country's deficit by building the largest sugar plant in the MENA region, with the objective of filling the country's sugar gap, in various stages.
Al Nouran's USD 360 million sugar plant will begin operating its first of four production lines of 14,000-ton beet per day, by Spring 2017.
Sprawled over an area of 1.8 million square meters in Al Sharkiya governorate, the plant is master-planned to include four production lines, closing the current one million sugar deficit in Egypt, and venturing into exports.
"Al Nouran's plant will reduce Egypt's reliance of imported sugar by up to 25% from the first production line," says M. Ashraf Mahmoud, Chairman and CEO, "and 100% with the completion of our fourth line. This is unprecedented both in Egypt and the region."
The company also plans to expand with sugar integrated industries such as bioethanol from molasses - a byproduct of sugar production which is currently an export product in Egypt - as well as other high value products such as yeast and vinegar.
Al Nouran is staged to be a regional leader in sugar production and trade. True to its low-key and forward-looking approach, the company is redefining investment and stability in a global climate that is in dire need of sweet optimism.