Durban, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 20 July 2011 – Illovo Sugar Limited “’ Africa’s largest producer of the sweetener “’ plans to start making potable ethanol from molasses in Tanzania by 2013, according to the company’s managing director Graham Clark.
“We have created an opportunity in Tanzania to produce ethanol from molasses” he said in an interview at the company’s annual general meeting here. “We will invest in an on-site production facility to turn the molasses into high-value alcohol.”
The plant will be situated at the company’s Kilombera operation in the south-central Morogoro region of Tanzania. “The approval process is almost complete, and work on the distillery will start within a month with production expected to begin in 2013,” Clark said. “The operation is expected to produce 12 million liters a year.”
The plant is part of Illovo’s plan to expand in other African countries to meet growing demand for sugar and sugar products, and to reduce the company’s reliance on its home country, where less land is available for plantations. Potable alcohol is used in the manufacture of alcoholic drinks. The company already exports the product to as many as 80 countries from plants in South Africa.
“Illovo is also considering starting fuel and potable ethanol production in Zambia, and may consider similar projects in Malawi,” Clark added. A 15 million liter potable ethanol plant is being considered in Mali, where Illovo expects to start production in 2014 or 2015.