Cargill, Arasco in deal to build first fructose plant in Kingdom

Cargill, Arasco in deal to build first fructose plant in Kingdom

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Murad Trkachi Oglu, Regional General Manager, Middle East and North Africa for Cargill Foods and Industrial Vital Components Co. delivers a speech during the recent US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum

JEDDAH — Dr. Abdulmalik Alhusseini, CEO of Arasco, unveiled a Saudi-American project for fructose, glucose and starch products for the first time in the Kingdom.

“Since Cargill and Arasco announced their intention to create a joint venture (JV) for starch and its derivatives production in 2013, the two companies worked together to finalize all agreements to create new company with limited liability called Middle East for Food Solutions Co’ (MEFSCO), under the supervision of Arasco to guarantee all the success for this joint venture,” Alhusseini said on the sidelines of US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum.

Alhusseini stressed the value of this partnership growth and development and the determination to Saudization, welcoming Saudi graduates specialized in technology and engineering to join this new company.

On the possibility of going for IPO, stressing that it is not needed at the moment, Alhusseini confirmed that being listed is a means to expand stakeholders and finance future projects, yet not an end in itself.

Alhusseini validated their continuity to provide companies of food, agriculture and livestock fodder in a sustainable manner, and that company’s products are eco-friendly and reduce water drain.

Murad Trkachi Oglu, Regional General Manager, Middle East and North Africa for Cargill Foods and Industrial Vital Components Co., said Cargill took a 20 percent stake in Arasco for Corn Products, a subsidiary of Arasco, while Arasco preserved its 80 percent stake for the establishment of MEFSCO, investing $120 million for expansion and tripling production to grind 350,000 tons of corn in its first stage with expected expansion to reach a million tons in the second phase of investment and fulfill market needs in the region and export outside GCC.

Ziad Al-Sheikh, CEO of MEFSCO, confirmed that plant expansion is in its final stages with launch of new production volume in 2016 second half with latest global manufacturing standards, providing technical and development solutions noting that the company seeks to serve the region through the provision of high-quality food products, ideal cost, boosting company’s growth and enhance its competitiveness locally and globally.

Al-Sheikh revealed that Saudi Industrial Development Fund has agreed on financing the company’s plant in Al-Kharj – the first JV of starch and its derivatives between Arasco and Cargill.

Arasco and Cargill have signed final agreement to establish the first joint venture for the production of starch and its derivatives of sweeteners in the Kingdom to fulfill the needs of GCC, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan of starch products.

Once the agreement is finalized, Cargill will take a 20 percent stake in the JV, while Arasco will take 80 percent stake. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals. — SG

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