Dangote Sugar targets additional 14,000 tonnes from Tunga project
The drive towards Nigeria’s sugar self-sufficiency is set for a boost as the Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) is targeting to raise production capacity by additional 14,000 tonnes of sugar from factory in Tunga, Nasarawa state.
The factory which sits on a 78,000 hectares of land acquired by the Dangote Industries Limited, targeting crushing capacity of 12000 ton came per day (TCD) with 160,000 tons of cane, amounting to 14000 tons of sugar will be commissioned by 2024
The manager in charge of agriculture, Simon Ibbetson, hinted journalists on the development in Tunga, Nasarawa State at the weekend.
Mr Ibbetson told journalists that the company is currently scaling up sugar cane planting with the target to reach about 3000 hectares of cane harvest by January 2025 while initial sugar production commences in June, the same year.
He also said that more than 50 megawatts of electricity will be generated.
This follows as the current yield per hectare stands between 70 to 75 tonnes on the cultivation of 600 hectares at the Tunga sugar plantation project at the moment with the expectation to reach higher.
The cane also comprises different improved verities ranging from D8687, M1392/00, R579 among others.
“ We have a factory site but we don’t have a factory at the moment, the aim is to looking at 2025 probably somewhere out there, the cane at the moment is simply building up their scale because what we need to do is when the factory starts working, we need to have a cane available straightaway, so as soon as the factories is ready, the cane we’ll be there straightaway to put through the mill, we’ll be in full production straightaway.
So what we’re doing at the moment is bulking up the canes, we’re going to have 3000 hectares that will be ready to harvest in January 2025, when that goes in there, we will be putting the other 3000 hectares and that will be up to 6000 by the end of 2025,” he said.
The cane plantation also engages about 50 agricultural experts and 650 other farmers working in the field to bring the project to fruition.
The farm currently boasts of four pump distribution points powered by a station equipped with capacity to deliver up to 648 kpa 368/s water into the plantation on 12hrs basis.
The management said the project aimed to drive the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan and deliver results towards sugar sufficiency while creating jobs for the unemployed segment of the population.
Though about 625 workers are currently engaged in the sugar project, upon completion, the company will employed more than 30,000 persons from and within the host community and help the country achieve some of its diversification policy into non-oil sector.
According to the manager, community relations, Saidu Mohammad, some of the local farmers within the host community have been trained in sugar cane management, preparing them ahead of time.
“At present, construction of canal and piping for irrigation are ongoing and by 2024 a factory with the cruising capacity of 12,000 tonnes cane per day will be commissioned with 160,000 tonnes of cane amounting to 14,000 tonnes of sugar,” Mohammad said.
In addition to sugar production, He added that more than 50 megawatts power will be generated in the second phase with animal feeds production in the third phase of development.
Importation of sugar into Nigeria is currently on backward integration programme introduced by Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2012 to meet over 1.7 million metric tonnes demands.