Sugar project: Swedish investor calls it quits

20Feb 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Sugar project: Swedish investor calls it quits

A Swedish investor, who was planning to set up a sugar production project in Coast Region, Bagamoyo EcoEnergy Ltd (BEE) has no further plan to invest in 180 hectares of seed-cane and demonstration farm.

This follows the decision by the government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development to revoke the title deed for the earmarked land.

BEE is a subsidiary of the Swedish-based EcoEnergy Africa AB. Speaking over the weekend, the executive chairman of BEE project, Per Carstedt said:

“EcoEnergy is ready to offer its 180 hectares seed-cane and demonstration farm to the government or anyone, the government wants to assign to do the project so as to facilitate the implementation of this project as the combined seed-cane and demo-farm has the latest irrigation technology, which can be used for growing sugarcane, food crops or for training purposes.”
He added:

“We have been servicing the farm for the fear that if we remove labour, security, disconnecting the power and remove the installed equipment for irrigation most of the key installments will immediately be taken away by untruthful people and all seed cane will quickly be unsuitable for planting purposes and that will delay any development of sugar project for any other investor by a minimum of two years.”

Carstedt said that government and local communities agreed to get 25 per cent non dilutable equity in exchange for EcoEnergy Bagamoyo Project to get access to the land from the abandoned cattle ranch in Bagamoyo and develop a state of the art $500 million project.

According to him, in November last year they received a letter from the Commissioner of Lands informing them that the partnership between EcoEnergy and the government can no longer be negotiated and that the government is no longer interested in the Bagamoyo EcoEnergy Project.

“We as a company and, above all a foreign one, have to accept whatever decisions made by the government of Tanzania. Though we regret, but we have to accept that the government has other plans for the Razaba land and we are ready to offer and transfer all our plans, designs and know how to facilitate someone else to develop the sugar project in Bagamoyo, provided we get compensation for the costs and efforts we spent for over 10 years, if such an agreement is not reached we will have to protect our interests on legal grounds,” said Carstedt

He noted that over all these years EcoEnergy have worked closely with the government, the people of Bagamoyo and its various institutions to ensure that the project is finally commissioned and it was approved as commercially viable by all national and international institutions relevant and had in reality all financing in place ready to take off since three years ago.

He further said: “It was proved beyond any doubt that EcoEnergy has the capacity to implement this $500 million project which was estimated to create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and inject over $40million into the Bagamoyo District economy and produce over 150,000 tonnes of sugar annually.”

From initial inception to date they have spent over US$ 50 million whereof over US$ 5 million in taxes to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

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