Star Africa’s production down 6% due to power outages

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By Alois Vinga

LISTED sugar based products manufacturer and marketer, Star Africa Corporation Limited (SACL) has seen its production reducing by 6% due to choking power outages.

The electricity crisis has dogged Zimbabwe’s industry in the latter months of the year.i

It is currently experiencing one of it’s worst power crises which has seen load shedding of up to 20 hours.

The development has exerted pressure on production timelines across industry.

Presenting the sugar manufacturer’s half year’s performance for the period ended September 30 2022, SACL board chairman, Rungamo Mbire bemoaned the impact of electricity shortages on productivity.

“Production throughput at the refinery was adversely affected by high plant downtime, which was caused by power outages and some equipment breakdowns. This resulted in production volumes reducing by 6%, from 40,577 tonnes in the prior year comparative period to 37,975 tonnes during the period under review,” he said.

Some players have also urged the government to waive duty import payments on renewable energy accessories and reduce the prices of diesel in the interim as a strategy to provide alternatively cheaper energy.

Meanwhile, during the half year period, sales volumes of granulated sugar produced by Goldstar Sugars increased by 5%, from 39,294 tonnes produced in the prior comparative period to 41,155 tonnes on the back of a sustained high level of demand for sugar in the market.

The unit continues to focus on refurbishment and replacement of critical items of plant and machinery to improve plant availability and the refinery’s throughput in terms of both quantity and quality of granulated sugar.

These certifications enable the Group to supply products to TCCC franchisees in the Southern African region and beyond

“The company applauds the government’s efforts to foster structural economic transformation, as enshrined in the recent 2023 National Budget.

“These efforts are expected to improve the inflow of foreign currency into the economy. The Company looks forward to the government reinstating duty on imported sugar, a development which will impact positively on the local sugar industry,” added Mbire.