Africa’s sugar industry set for solid growth in coming years

The potential for the sugar sector’s growth in Africa over the next five years is looking positive with various international consortiums investing in projects in Africa.

Bosch Projects recently completed this pump station to irrigate a sugar cane project in Tanzania.

So says Andy Church, business manager for agriculture at Bosch Projects, a company specialising in project management and engineering services to Africa’s sugar industry. The company has completed numerous high-profile projects across the continent.

The services provided to clients are:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Sugar process engineering
  • Energy and mass balances
  • Factory and laboratory audits
  • Design of new sugar factories and refineries
  • Brownfield factory upgrades
  • Steam and power generation plant integration
  • Trash separation and recovery systems
  • Sugar handling, conditioning, packaging and storage
  • Project and construction management
  • Owners engineer
  • Lenders technical advisor

“We consider our competitive advantages to be our extensive pool of experienced resources and our multi-disciplinary engineering and project management capability offering integrated sugar solutions,” says Church. “South African consultants remain competitive in the African arena due to their close proximity to rest of the continent and the lack of skilled resources there.”

“We have been doing projects in Africa for many years and have built up extensive experience doing so. These countries remain attractive to us as it is difficult doing business in Africa and our experience and knowledge gives us the leverage to provide great, relatively hassle-free engineering solutions,” he added.

Tanzania sugar project case study

Bosch Projects was recently commissioned to design two large irrigation schemes in Tanzania – one project was close to Lake Victoria on the Kagera River and the other 200 km east of Dar es Salaam. Both projects were for the cultivation of sugar cane to produce refined brown sugar for the growing central African market.

One of the projects comprised two river pump stations with a total capacity of 25,200 m3 per hour. The two pump stations feed two off-channel storage dams with a combined capacity of 65 million m3. These large off-channel facilities are essential, due to the seasonal flow of the river, which only flows for eight months of the year. Phase 1A of the project consisted of 1,170 ha of sugar cane under centre pivot irrigation with a total of 25 pivots, while phase 1B consisted of 3,100 ha with 52 pivots.

Phases were done in such a way to ensure cane at the earliest possible opportunity and to facilitate current upgrading of the capacity of the sugar mill.

“The most challenging aspect of this project was the total water balance of the system. The water balance had to take into account varying flows of two converging rivers, varying water demands from the different areas and finding suitable sites for the required storage dams,” says Church.

“The surrounding district was also at the limit of available power on the national grid and the nearest substation is 70 km away. Various options and routes were investigated to come up with the most cost effective way to ensure adequate power of all areas of the estate and mill,” Church added.

Agricultural sector expertise

Based on a sold engineering background and a diverse resource base of highly qualified and experienced professionals, Bosch Projects is capable of providing a complete service to both the private and public sectors.

Bosch Projects is able to provide a full range of agricultural services to add value to each client’s project. The company’s agricultural team has a wide range of skills and experience, including areas such as soils, crop husbandry, irrigation, mechanisation and transport. Providing services to both out-growers and large estates, Bosch Projects couples technical capabilities with a range of services in production management and skills transfer.

The company has successfully completed projects in a number of African countries, including Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania and Mauritius, to name a few.

Contact details

For more information, or to request a quote, contact Andy Church at:

Email: [email protected]

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