KILOMBERO Sugar Company (KSC), has said that a feasibility study for its multi-billion expansion project has reached an advanced stage before being submitted to its shareholders for approval early next year.
The KSC Managing Director, Mr Guy Williams told journalists in Morogoro that the KSC’s expansion project would more than double the giant sugar producer’s production capacity from 125,000 tonnes to 265,000 tonnes of sugar per annum.
“Shareholders would soon be assessing the study results to evaluate the viability of the project and explore capital availability for approval of the project early 2020 if the results are positive,” he said.
“Subject to the positive outcome of the feasibility findings and the successful raising of the required funding, it is anticipated that the project will be presented for final approval by the KSC shareholders (with the government holding 25 per cent shareholding in Kilombero Sugar Limited) towards the end of February 2020,” He said if approved, the construction would start shortly thereafter with project completion estimated by June 2022.
Currently, KSC’s contribution to the economy stands at 400bn/-per annum but with the expansion project, this could almost double to 784 bn/-, said Williams KSC’s Corporate Affairs General Manager, Joseph Rugaimukamu, said the project will double the number of out-growers from the present 8,000 to around 16,000.
Sugarcane production of these growers will increase three-fold from the current average of 500,000 tonnes to 1,450,000 tonnes of cane per annum.
“KSC Management wishes to acknowledge the government strong stance on protecting and supporting the sugar industry which has motivated Kilombero Sugar to undertake the study into expanding its operations,” he said.
He added that there has been great support from Morogoro regional authorities as well as Kilombero and Kilosa districts leadership teams in sensitizing and preparing prospective farmers and surrounding communities for this grand economic opportunity.
Detailing the number of benefits to be accrued from the expansion project, Mr Rugaimukamu said sugarcane revenue earned by Kilombero growers is also set to rise from 63bn/-during the 2018/19 season to more than 14 1bn/-per annum when the project becomes operational.
The government will earn up to 50bn/-in total additional taxes. This will go along with over 2,200 new employment opportunities along the sugar value chain, he noted.
“The project will positively impact the lives of an additional 50,000 Tanzanians living in the Kilombero valley.
This is because the expansion is based on obtaining sugarcane mainly from the small growers and hence becoming a model for rural livelihood transformation,” he said.
This conjures well with President John Magufuli’s desire to build an industrialized economy typical to that of a middle-income country in line with Tanzania’s Vision 2025.