The history of the Zambia Sugar production started in the 1950s when the Refinery was set up in Ndola on the Copperbelt. Sugar cane was grown at Nakambala Estate and transported to Ndola for refining. However in 1990, the refinery was moved to Nakambala estate resulting in increased sugar production from 190 000 tons to 240 000 tons per annum. By 2009 sugar production leap frogged to 420, 000tons per annum and in the same year an additional boiler and diffuser were installed for increased efficiency in the production process.
In 2014 Illovo took a bold decision to invest in expansion of the factory and the key driver for the investment in Zambia was the strong historical and forecast domestic refined sugar sales growth, which had been primarily driven by demand from domestic and regional industrial manufacturers.
The strategy was aimed at ensuring that both direct consumers and industrial customers of the range of Whitespoon branded products continued to receive the sugar and downstream products they liked best at the exact quality standards they demanded.
Thus in 2016 Zambia Sugar commissioned a new refinery with additional capacity of 90,000 tons per annum. The development of the refinery was aimed at helping the company to double production capacity of refined sugar from 45 000 tons to 92 000 tons and increase overall annual sugar production capacity from 420 000 to 450 000 tons through a range of smaller factory improvements. The total project cost was ZMW522 million (US$ 82 million). The refinery expansion project consolidated Zambia Sugar’s position as Africa’s single-largest sugar producer.