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Not much news [worth publishing] in December but meaty nonetheless ...
US SUGAR FLORIDA
The saga continued in December with the South Florida Water Management District approving the contract – but with a get-out clause in case it cannot raise the money needed to buy the USSC land. The company now has a grace period to investigate alternative contracts which would include the alternative bid by the Lawrence Group from Tennessee.
IMPERIAL PONDERS GRAMERCY FUTURE
Although Cargill’s much discussed new refinery project at Terre Haute has not yet started, Imperial is starting to appreciate the impact that it would have on its Gramercy refinery next door. Although theoretically a port refinery [its on the Mississippi and readily accessible to large ships], Gramercy relies on Louisiana for about 90% of its raws and the cooperative which supplies it is Cargill’s proposed partner. Imperial is therefore looking at a ‘ménage a trois’ with the two, offering the Gramercy infrastructure to support the new refinery in exchange for a one third interest. That will please the cooperative as it will reduce the overall cost and significantly reduce its equity requirement.
INDIAN OIL LOOKS TO BRAZIL
The state owned Indian Oil Corporation has announced plans to buy a sugar mill in Brazil so that it can produce ethanol. What is not clear is whether the ethanol would be freely traded or whether it would be destined for the Indian market.
SUGARBEET IN ETHIOPIA?
A private Saudi investor has announced a $300 million investment in a large sugarbeet project in north western Ethiopia. The project is reported to be ‘in collaboration with’ Syngenta [which has ‘tropical beet’ technology] and the Italian sugar company Eridania. The project, to be located in Amhara State [to the North of the Finchaa sugarcane estate] and will require 30 000 ha of land.