Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Sugar Corporation misses midyear target

The Ethiopian Sugar Corporation fails well short of its six month target in sugar and ethanol productions. Three state owned sugar factories’ outputs; Wonji Shewa, Finchaa and Metehara, have produced below the projected amount.
The three factories collectively aimed to produce 104,344 tons of sugar between July 8, 2011 and January 9, 2012 in the current fiscal year; they only managed 73,862 tons representing 71 percent of the stated goals. In the half year period the Sugar Corporation has distributed 206,372 tons of sugar from its local production as well as imported stock.
During the six month period, the state firms were also tasked to output 5,433,812 litres of ethanol, a byproduct of sugar that can be blended with fuel, to help lower the cost of petrol imports with hard currency. All three factories however only produced 3,885,760 litres of ethanol.
It was all underperformance for the sweet makers. In ethanol production for instance, Metehara met 100 percent of its projection which helped offset Finchaa’s shortfall that only brought in 41 percent of its production goal.
Yilma Tibebu, public relations head at the Sugar Corporation, attributed the underperformance on repair works at the three factories that was completed only in October. Yilma explained that the maintenance works   pulled back operations leading to low outputs. The corporation plans to make up the loss by surpassing its second half targets.
In the past six months, the Corporation has sent 28 professionals from Wonji Shewa, Finchaa and Metehara sugar factories and the under construction Tendaho Sugar factory to India where they are currently undertaking trainings.
Another 17 professionals had earlier attended similar trainings in leadership, management systems and technical expertise at the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius.
Currently about 300 thousand quintals of sugar is produced in Ethiopia annually. However, as part of the five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) ten new factories would start production by 2015. Two of the three existing factories will be expanded and all are expected to boost production.