Cargill Inc., the largest U.S. agricultural company, won approval to build a sugar refinery in Egypt, the country’s Industrial Development Authority said.
The facility will have an initial investment cost of $70.5 million and is scheduled to start operations in 2012, Amr Assal, chairman of the agency, said Monday in an interview in Cairo.
“There is huge demand for sugar in Egypt,” Assal said. “So there are a lot of opportunities for refineries whether for the domestic market or for export.”
Cargill, based in Wayzata, was allocated land in the northern Egyptian city of Borg El Arab as its request for a permission to set up the factory was approved by the industrial development authority, Assal said.
The state-run Food Industries Holding Co. and Al Nouran Holding Co., a private sugar refiner in Egypt, have applied for licenses to set up plants in the North African country, Assal said.
Consumption of sugar in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, is between 2.8 million and 2.9 million tons per year, according to the largest state importer, Sugar and Integrated Industries Co.
Local farmers supply between 1.8 million and 1.9 million tons annually and the rest is imported.