SUDAN WATCH: Sudan to produce ethanol from sugar cane

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sudan to produce ethanol from sugar cane

Sudan inaugurates biofuel plant
KHARTOUM (AFP) — Sudan will begin producing ethanol from sugar cane with a target of 200 million litres in two years, President Omar al-Beshir said on Wednesday at the inauguration of a new plant.

State company Kenana, which already makes sugar and molasses, will run the project, Beshir said in a speech to thousands of people assembled at the ethanol plant in White Nile State.

Production from the plant is forecast to reach 200 million litres (52 million US gallons) in two years, Beshir said.

"Sudan will support the development of the White Nile State and all of Sudan," he said.

The factory, which lies about 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Khartoum, was built by Brazilian group Dedini. Brazil is the second largest producer of ethanol after the United States, but it is the biggest exporter of biofuels.

South Africa began making ethanol from corn in 2006, but production was slashed after the world food crisis, with officials deciding that corn could be better used for food.

Ethanol has become an increasingly attractive alternative for oil after the rise of crude prices, but production of the fuel was seen as a major contributor to global food prices.

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