South African company’s Mali investment plans on track

South Africa-based sugar producer, Illovo Sugar, is at an advanced stage with its pre-project activities for establishing a project in Mali.

As part of Illovo’s audited group results for the year ended 31 March 2010, released this week, the company states that “the proposed greenfields project in Mali continues to be progressed, and the various pre-project activities are at an advanced stage.

“Subject to the Government of Mali meeting certain requirements, the necessary approvals for the funding of the project are likely to be progressed and finalised in the second half of the calendar year.

“This would facilitate the commencement of cane development, with factory commissioning taking place around two years later,” the statement read.

Earlier in the year Business Day quoted Illovo managing director, Graham Clark, saying that “Mali fits all of Illovo’s investment criteria, but is one of the poorest countries in the world. In addition to an attractive investment regime, the region is also short of sugar, which makes it a good market.

“In quite a unique project, Illovo is partnering with the government to develop 14,500 hectares of sugar cane to embrace the local community,” Clark added.

Illovo currently has operations in South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Swaziland and Mozambique.