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PressCane requires $30 million for sugar mill

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Ethanol distillery company, PressCane, says it would require at least a $30 million investment into a new milling machine to be generating additional molasses and meet ethanol production capacity.

PressCane Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Guta, said this on Monday on the sidelines of a familiarisation tour by Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Salim Bagus.

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“When we were configuring that investment, we had three major areas, one is production of sugar feedstock, treatment of effluent where we wanted to have a zero liquid discharge facility and the element of us being able to generate power.

“The price of ethanol is controlled. When that is unlocked, such that the return on investments allows the investor to invest in these other opportunities, we will be able to receive more sugarcane from the farmers,” Guta said.

Bagus said the government would look into the factors affecting the company’s ability to reinvest in rural communities to benefit from producing sugarcane.

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This followed complaints from some communities who had given up land meant for sugarcane-growing to be bought by the company.

PressCane is working with 204 farmers who are producing 137,000 tonnes of sugarcane at Chisanja farm in Chikwawa District which is processed at Illovo Sugar Malawi for molasses.

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