Sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett is targeting to hit 100 percent capacity utilisation within the next three years after major investments in an out grower facility that gobbled at least $40 million.
Affected by poor rainfall patterns in 2016, the firm is slowly coming out of the woods and is projecting to grow its productive outlook by 30 percent to maximum output within the next three to four years.
Currently sitting at 70 percent of its capacity, the firm is producing close to 190 000 tonnes of sugar at each of its two plants, one in Triangle and another at Hippo Valley, giving a total output above the domestic consumption which is around 360 000 tonnes annually.
“We are confident of hitting 100 percent capacity utilisation, which would enable us to have surplus for exports to Zambia and Botswana. We have had a major investment at the Kilimanjaro out grower scheme in Chiredzi,” Tongaat Hulett Managing Director, Mr Sydney Mutsambiwa said while briefing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement.
According to Mr Mutsambiwa, the firm will also be benchmarking its profit flavour on expanding its portfolio in cattle farming where it is angling towards increasing its herd which stands at 6000.
Sugar production for the firm, which also has operations in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, is expected to recover in these source markets and should be able to sustainably grow within a projected time frame of two years to levels around 1.5 billion tonnes.