In Zimbabwe, our two operations have a combined capacity to crush over 3.5 million tons of sugarcane per annum. The Huletts Sunsweet® brand is the leading sugar brand in the country.
Our sugar operations in Zimbabwe include the wholly-owned Triangle Sugar operation and its 50.3% shareholding in Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Hippo Valley Estates.
Our Triangle operation has the capacity to produce over 30 million litres of ethanol each year.
We officially launched Project Kilimanjaro in November 2019 in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe and supported by commercial banks. The project aims to improve land productivity by developing 4 000 hectares of virgin land for sugarcane farming, for the benefit of 200 indigenous farmers. To facilitate successful skills transfer, Tongaat Hulett has seconded key technical staff to the Lowveld Sugarcane Development Trust, who will project-manage for an initial five-year period.
The aims are to promote rural transformation, socio-economic growth and development, through the creation of approximately 2 000 new jobs, while also generating much needed foreign currency through additional export sales.
More than 2 600 hectares have already been cleared to date, with the first 455 hectares already planted to cane and an additional 111 hectares being planted. The first 158 hectares will be harvested in the current season with yields expected to top 160 tons cane per hectare. The funding of the project has, however, been complicated by hyperinflation and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has slowed the project rollout. Current projections are that a total of 2 047 hectares will have been planted to cane by 31 March 2021. The target is still to produce 600 000 tons annually by the 2023/24 financial year.