The Gulf’s pioneering sugar refinery and leading exporter Al Khaleej Sugar achieved a milestone recently when it hosted the world’s largest sugar-laden vessel, MV UBC Ottawa, at DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port.
The vessel, arriving from Sao Paolo in Brazil, discharged 106,000 tonnes of sugar during a whole week. The volume discharged was close to the freighter’s load capacity of 118,625 tonnes. Providing a brief background of the vessel, port authorities said it has been sailing since 2011 and has a length of 260 m.
Al Khaleej Sugar – literally meaning The Gulf Sugar – is the first sugar refinery in the Arabian Gulf region and the largest standalone sugar refinery in the world.
Based in Jebel Ali in Dubai, the company has current production capacity of 7,000 tonnes of refined white sugar per day, employing about 800 personnel. Since the commencement of production in July, 1995 it has made remarkable progress to achieve the status of the largest standalone sugar refinery in the world, This was achieved in July 2013 with a new set record of 7,270 tonnes of refined sugar in one day. In 2011, the refinery set another record in terms of highest ever-annual production of refined sugar at 1.5 million tonnes.
Its products are regularly exported to over 50 countries, including the regional countries in the Arabian Gulf region.
Currently, it contributes to about 3 per cent of global annual refined sugar production, and imports raw sugar from leading production areas such as Brazil, India, Australia and Thailand.
In his comments at a ceremony held at the Al Khaleej Sugar refinery yard in Jebel Ali, DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem congratulated the company. “This historic call is another achievement for Dubai, reinforcing its gateway position for the Middle East and wider region,” he said.
Bin Sulayem attributed Al Khaleej Sugar’s leading position to the far sightedness of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in establishing Dubai and the wider UAE as a leading regional and international trade hub.
“DP World is working closely with Al Khaleej Sugar to safely offload the raw sugar at their berth, illustrating our ability to handle all types of cargo, including food staples such as rice, flour and other perishable goods,” he said.
“Jebel Ali serves a wide variety of customers and this event comes on the heels of the arrival of the biggest ever bulk carrier to visit the port (recently), where we handled 79,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel. These achievements illustrate that we are ready to meet future demands for containerised or non-containerised cargo, with our new, state-of-the-art Container Terminal 3 at Jebel Ali ready to serve customers.”
Present at the ceremony was Al Khaleej Sugar managing director Jamal Al Ghurair.
“We are proud to host the biggest vessel in the world at the Al Khaleej Sugar berth in Dubai. In the last few years we have seen a number of improvements and additions to our refinery as we installed new equipment that helped increase production rates and placed us as one of the leading sugar refineries in the world. We appreciate the supportive role of the Dubai Government represented by HH Sheikh Mohammed and the constructive cooperation from Jebel Ali Port’s management in supporting our company’s success,” Al Ghurair said.
Jebel Ali Port, operated by DP World UAE Region, is the largest marine terminal in the Middle East and the flagship facility of DP World’s portfolio of over 65 marine terminals across six continents.
In view of its prominent status in the F&B sector, Al Khaleej Sugar participates in the sector’s international events – both exhibitions and conferences.
Last October it took part in the Gulfood Ingredients exhibition which Al Ghurair said was a perfect platform for the refinery to interact with its customers, new channels and leaders in the FMCG industry.
Being a major producer and exporter of refined sugar, Al Khaleej Sugar’s voice is respected in international arenas. In early 2014, it participated in The Sugar Conference in Dubai, where key discussions included Brazilian prospects, the Indian sugar situation and an outlook for Chinese sugar policies.
Al Khaleej Sugar procures various grades of raw sugar for captive refining. It re-exports raw sugar from time to time to meet requirements of buyers in the sugar refining industry and other industrial applications.
Al Khaleej Sugar Refinery is built using the latest technology to process raw sugar into refined sugar as per EEC-2 Standard.
As well as processing facilities, the refinery has off sites and utilities such as steam boilers, a turbo alternator and raw and refined sugar handling and storage facilities.
The refinery uses the carbonation process for raw sugar purification. Its operations are controlled by DCS (Distributed Control System) through a central control room.