The President of the Republic of Sudan, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir, has inaugurated an ethanol plant in Kenana today. The first of its kind in Africa, the plant is expected to produce around 65 million litres of ethanol during its first year, which will gradually be increased to 200 million litres per annum in the coming two years.
The ethanol plant, located about 250 km south of Khartoum, is a joint effort between the Sudanese Ministry of Energy and two companies, Kenana and Giad. Brazil’s Dedini Industrias de Base constructed the plant at a cost of $15 million, which will use by-products from Sudan’s sugar industry.
“This is the first time for Sudan to produce ethanol… I think in the beginning they will export it. There is no demand in Sudan now,” said Mohamed Ali Dingel, an economist and agriculture specialist. However, in the medium term, the plan is to create a renewable energy source for a country which is largely dependent on crude oil and therefore, open to threats to its energy security. At the inauguration ceremony in Kenana, President Al-Bashir affirmed that, “Sudan will lead the way for African countries in protecting its independence and free decision”.
Sudan aims to become one of the largest ethanol producers, with Sudanese authorities announcing plans to develop the country’s sugar industry, increase sugar production, and convert molasses to ethanol. The Sudanese government intends to construct some 18 ethanol plants in the future.