Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday inaugurated what is being described by the official media as the “largest sugar factory in the region”.
According to the Sudan News Agency, SUNA, the factory – which will reach its full production capacity of 450,000 tons of white sugar by the year 2014 – was initially set to be inaugurated in April this year.
However, because of the US economic sanctions since 1997, the contractors failed to secure a much-needed software and the inauguration was delayed, prompting the Minister of Industry, Abdul Wahab Muhamed Osman, to tender his resignation, which was rejected by the president.
Sudanese engineers later produced the chips and on Wednesday Bashir inaugurated the factory, saying it would reflect positively on the province and the whole country.
The White Nile Sugar Factory will also produce 104 megawatt/hour of electricity from which it will consume about 50% for its operation, camps, irrigation systems and pumps, while the other 50% will be sent to the National Electricity Corporation.
The factory, situated in central Sudan’s White Nile State, south of the capital Khartoum, is set to produce 170,000 tons of Molasses, yielding 50 million litres of pure ethanol.
Speaking at the inauguration, President al-Bashir said those waiting to see an Arab Spring in Sudan are day dreaming, because “we have a hot, burning summer in this side which will burn all enemies and hirelings.”
Sporadic demonstrations by opposition-supported students in Khartoum have been put down by riot control police.
The students were protesting against price hikes and economic measures the government adopted last month to compensate for the loss of about 75% of its revenues as a result of the South Sudan’s secession and the stopping of oil export via the Sudan.