Brazilian Sugar Company Builds Refinery in Syria

The construction of the sugar refinery of Syrian and Brazilian capital is going at full speed in Homs, in Syria. The works started in the first semester and, according to MaurÀ­lio Biagi Filho, director of Crystalsev, Brazilian company that participates in the project, the plant should start operating in beginning of next year.

The refinery will have as partners Crystalsev, Cargill Africa, the Syrian entrepreneur Nagib Assaf and an international financing company, whose name isn’t public. Cargill will have 40% of the business and Crystalsev 10%.

The refinery has the capacity of processing one million tons of sugar per year. According to Biagi, the company is going to buy raw sugar, refine it ad then sell it in the Syrian and nearby markets, like Jordan and Lebanon.

"It is an important buying market, which doesn’t have a more sophisticated structure," says the director at Crystalsev, about the region. The refinery should be the greatest in Syria, according to Biagi.

In spite of this being a Syrian-Brazilian project, there isn’t a commitment of buying raw sugar from Brazil. "We’ll purchase it from the international market, from where it is more convenient," explains the director of Crystalsev.

Since the country is a great world supplier of the commodity, however, good part of the input should be supplied by Brazil, believes Biagi. Syria also produces raw sugar, but it is made from beetroot and the production is still small.

The Arab countries, including Syria, are great importers of Brazilian raw sugar. Between January and June this year they purchased US$ 678 million in sugar from Brazil.

The value represented an increase in 33.1% over the same period last year, when the Arabs imported US$ 509 million in Brazilian sugar. Syria bought US$ 9.5 million in Brazilian sugar between January and June this year.

Crystalsev

Crystalsev, which is located in Ribeirão Preto, city in the countryside of the state of São Paulo and will have part of the capital of the Syrian refinery, works trading alcohol and sugar in the Brazilian and international market.

The company is responsible for the sales of nine plants that are part of the group: Companhia Energética Santa Elisa, Companhia Açucareira Vale do Rosario, Usina Moema, Usina MB, Usina Mandu, Jardest, Destilaria Pioneiros, Paraí­so Bioenergias and Usina Vertente. Together, they produce about 1.7 million tons of sugar per crop.

Brazil should have this year a record sugarcane harvest, which will open perspectives also for the increase in sugar exports.

According to forecasts by the Union of Sugarcane Agro-industry of São Paulo (Unica), sugar exports will reach 19.4 million tons this harvest, an increase by 17% over the last crop.

There are in the country projects for 80 sugar mills and alcohol distilleries, which should start operating before the end of 2012.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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