British Sugar’s overseas division -
which has its headquarters in Peterborough - has expanded its
operations in China’s cane sugar industry with a £5 million equity
investment in a joint venture company in the Guangxi Autonomous Region
of South China.
The deal will take the British Sugar
Overseas (BSO) subsidiary’s total sugar production at four sugar
mills in China to well over 300,000 tonnes per year.
BSO managing director Harvey Davenport
said: “We are delighted that we have been able to reach this
agreement. Our existing joint ventures have shown that by sharing our
experience and technology with our partners in growing, processing and
marketing the crop we can significantly add value to these operations.”
Under the latest joint venture
agreement, BSO has paid 63 million yuan ($US7.6 million) plus assumed
debt, for a 70 per cent stake in the Bo Xuan company, which will be
responsible for production at the Wuxuan sugar mill. BSO plans to
expand the Wuxuan mill’s annual production to 100,000 tonnes of
BSO made its first investment in China’s
cane sugar industry through the Bo Qing joint venture for the
operation of the Shibie sugar mill in 1995. It subsequently invested
in the Bo Hua mill and, last year, acquired a stake in the Huaiyuan
sugar mill, which was absorbed into the Bo Qing joint venture.
BSO has established a reputation for
helping increase production at cane sugar mills in which it becomes
involved. Bo Qing processed just 200,000 tonnes of cane when the
original joint venture was signed - this year, the company will
process 1.3 million tonnes. In addition, BSO was instrumental in
helping the Shibie sugar mill to become the first in the Far East to
qualify for the ISO 9002 international quality assurance award.
Last year BSO hosted a visit to
Britain by a delegation headed by the director general of China’s
National Bureau of Light Industry to investigate the operations of the
European Union’s sugar regime.
BSO also operates ten beet sugar
factories in Poland, making it one of the largest foreign
investors in the Polish sugar industry and accounting for nearly
200,000 tonnes of domestic sugar production.