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May 19, 2016

No Plans for a Refinery Just Yet

Beverly Burke

While projections are being made for increased production in subsequent crops, there are no plans as yet for the construction of a refinery.  As it stands, Santander is wholesaling unprocessed sugar at a different cost than it would refined grain, with no preferential prices.  According to Burke, they have not been able to look at market shares because the production year is still open. 


On the Phone: Beverly Burke, Santander Representative, Belize

“Going forward, year two, year three, we are not really looking at a refinery.  A refinery needs to make financial sense and hence we would have to look at probably quadrupling the sugar production for a refinery, justify the investment of a refinery.  Whereas the layout, our overall plan can actually accommodate a refinery, it is not in the first three to five years of the actual project.  It might come later if it makes financial sense at that time.”


Isani Cayetano

“In terms of dollars and cents, I am assuming here that you’re selling the raw sugar at a lower cost than if it were refined, correct?”


On the Phone: Beverly Burke

“Yes, of course.  The raw sugar still needs to go through its, the additional processing for it to become table sugar.  So yes, there are other stages.  I don’t know if I would classify it as being sold at a cheaper rate but based on what the world market figures dictate, we are right on par with that.  So there are different calculations based on raw versus finished product.  So we are right on par with what the world market is dictating that that price should be.  So far as market share, we have not looked at that comparison as yet simply because our production year is not over.  That comparison can only come at that point but what we are looking at is what the capabilities of our facilities are and based on the targets that we have set for ourselves that is really our main focus.  It’s not any competition whatsoever with what the north is doing but for us it’s all about achieving the standards, achieving the production levels that we have set based on investments that we have made and based on the overall capabilities of our facilities.  So far as that is concerned we’re going into the market without all the preferential treatment and stuff that existed way back in the days that the north was able to enjoy.  For us it’s totally different, this is a straightforward investment going into what I will term a neutral market and that’s at the level which we’re competing.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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