NORDZUCKER MONITORING SUGAR FEASIBILITY STUDY PROGRESS
Deputy Tom Barry met recently with representatives of German Sugar Production Company Nordzucker who travelled to Ireland to discuss progress with efforts to re-introduce sugar production in Ireland.
Deputy Barry confirmed this week: “The Feasibility Study, being conducted by Project Management based in Mahon in Cork, is at an advanced stage. The study is examining the feasibility of sugar beet and ethanol production. The study is being funded privately and has got the full co-operation of the Department of Agriculture. Representatives of the industry met with the Minister for Agriculture recently and the Minister appointed a liaison officer to deal directly with the Feasibility Study.
“Also, I recently met with representatives of Nordzucker, one of the largest sugar producers in Europe, to discuss a return to sugar and ethanol production in Ireland. Representatives travelled from Germany to meet in Dublin and those talks went very well. Nordzucker have expressed an interest in returning to Ireland again, once the Feasibility Study is completed, with a view to possible involvement in a new Irish Sugar Industry.
“Sugar quotas are set to go in 2015 and it is important now that this date not be extended, so our negotiations in Europe are very important to make sure that this date is not interfered with. The future of Sugar Production hinges on this Feasibility Study, which we are eagerly awaiting. I am very optimistic about the contents of the study, as sugar was €900 a tonne last year and is now €1,100 a tonne.
“In addition, it’s evident from every petrol station in the country that the price of petrol is only going in one direction; therefore ethanol is also becoming more competitive. An indigenous industry such as this would provide a huge amount of jobs, even if it were only to break even financially. It will also reduce imports by substituting them with Irish ethanol for fuel, Irish sugar and Irish feed products from the by-products of the beet.”