The Chairman of Sona Group of Industries, Mr. Arjan Mirchandani has said that its multi-billion naira ethanol plant will be completed in about two months. When completed, the plant which is reputed to be the largest in Africa will produce 120,000 liters of ethanol daily.
Mirchandani made the disclosure when a team from First Bank Nigeria paid the company an official visit and were taken on an inspection tour of Sona Group’s facilities in Ota Ogun State. The team was also shown some of Sona Group’s expansion projects which are targeted at meeting growing demand in the local and export markets.
Speaking during the inspection, Mr. Mirchandani assured that there was a big market for ethanol in Nigeria, adding that many of the multi-national companies in the food and drinks segment require the product as raw material for their production and would rather source locally instead of importing, to save cost.
“Some of the major multinational companies in Nigeria have already shown interest in buying from us when production commences, they are impressed by our commitment to quality, and would rather patronize us instead of importing,” Mirchandani said.
Also commenting on the project, the Group Managing Director of Sona Group of Industries, Mr. Ajai Musaddi disclosed that a third of the ethanol production will be reserved for internal consumption by the retinue of companies within the Sona family, while the rest will be sold to other companies.
Apart from its investment in ethanol, Sona is also expanding its capacity across its subsidiaries. The group has made huge investments in human capacity development and, especially in modern technology as many of its operation is now fully automated.
This has enabled the company to increase its production capacity significantly and it’s now a major player in the export market, which Mirchandani says hold a big opportunity for growth
“The market is huge. We are looking into export. We can see the export is growing every day. We started with Ghana, now we export to Cameroun, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Senegal, Ivory Coast,” he said.
Sona has equally made huge inroads into the biscuit market with huge investment in technology and human capital development. The company has been able to fill some of the supply gap created by the forex crisis, which has made importation of premium biscuit from foreign markets unattractive.
The four-man team First bank delegation was led by Mrs. Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking (Lagos& West) First Bank Lagos Mainland. And as soon as the facility tour was over, they entered into a closed-door meeting with the Sona team.
Details of the meeting were not made known, but there were indications it has to do with possible investment relationship between both reputable companies.