Nigerian Sugar Company Buys Two Bulk Carriers to Improve Logistics
One of Africa’s emerging food companies is joining the shipping world acquiring two bulk carriers to better manage logistics in its emerging business. The company becomes one of an increasing number of food companies that have been seeking stronger control of their logistics.
BUA Foods, headquarter in Logos, Nigeria was created in 2021 through the consolidation of five operating units into a single publicly traded company. Owned by one of the rich men in Africa, Abdul Rabiu, and his son, the company produces flour, pasta, sugar, rice, and edible oil. The group currently has two modern, automated sugar refineries located in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Originally started in 2005, the company today has over 170,0000 acres of land to set up large-scale sugar plantations.
The company recently has taken delivery of the first of two bulk vessels to augment its sugar export operations to the West African market. Built in 2003 by Mitsubishi in Japan, the vessel was renamed Bundu after the area in which the refinery is located. Registered in Panama, the 16,765 dwt vessel is 442 feet in length. According to the company, the vessel’s cargo capacity is suited to enhance quick and sustainable delivery of more refined sugar in the face of growing export demand from across the African region.
Bundu is the first of two bulkers that BUA Foods plans to operate (BUA Foods)
“As we drive our business for growth with a focus on sustainable returns, and benefit to all our stakeholders and the Nigerian economy, owning a shipping vessel is an important step in BUA Foods strategy,” said the Chairman of BUA Foods, Abdul Samad Rabiu. “We see an increased and continued demand for refined sugar across the region with the attendant increase for logistics support to aid timely delivery, which is why it is important for us to strengthen our current capability with an own-controlled asset as we advance further in our business strategy. These new vessels will create operational efficiencies in our business and open possibilities for new services.”
The refined sugar is processed from BUA Foods’ sugar refinery located in Port Harcourt. The refinery has a capacity of 750,000 metric tons and is equipped to process all grades of sugar. The vessel will berth at BUA’s port and terminal increasing export capacity while reducing operating costs.
“Owning a vessel to export sugar is a crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in our total supply chain as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical fulfillment challenges due to timely availability of their goods,” said Ayodele Abioye, managing director of BUA Foods.
The first vessel, Bundu, is now operating from Nigeria. The second vessel is expected to arrive by the end of the second quarter of 2022. It will be used to promote cross-border trade to businesses across the West African region and other African countries.