CAIRO- Egypt's Canal Sugar has started trial production and will begin commercial production before June at its new beet sugar factory, which aims to be world's biggest such plant, the chief executive said on Monday.
The sugar produced at the West Minya project in the south of Egypt will be sold in the local market, which faces a deficit.
"We expect to provide 1.5 million tons of beet in May and June, which will enable us to produce about 170,000 tons of sugar during that period," Islam Salem told Reuters.
Canal Sugar aims to reach its maximum capacity of 950,000 to 1 million tonnes of sugar in 2022.
The project also includes farmland to grow 150,000 tonnes of wheat, 135,000 tonnes of pulses and 130,000 tonnes of maize.
The roughly $1 billion project is majority-owned by Emirati businessman Jamal al-Ghurair, managing director of Al Khaleej Sugar, and other investors in the United Arab Emirates, while the remaining 30% is owned by Egypt’s Al Ahly Capital Holding.
Egypt produces about 2.5 million tonnes of sugar annually, but it consumes around 3.3 million tonnes.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Angus MacSwan) ((Nadine.Awadalla@thomsonreuters.com;))