Rogers Sugar is investing $160 million to increase sugar supply in eastern Canada to meet growing demand from food producers in Ontario and Quebec.
Posted at 8:00 am
The Canadian company, which specializes in refining sugar, announced Thursday morning its intention to increase the refining capacity of its Montreal facility to boost its production to up to 100,000 more tons annually. This is a 15% increase in the plant’s refining capacity.
Rogers Sugar also wants to expand its logistics infrastructure and expand the rail network that connects the Toronto distribution center to Montreal. These projects require an estimated investment of $160 million, according to the company.
Demand for refined sugar in eastern Canada has grown in recent years, he says. In the third quarter of fiscal 2022, Rogers Sugar recorded a 6.7% increase in sugar sales volume compared to the same period in 2021, the company’s latest financial report shows.
So far, Western Canada has had to supply food producers from Quebec and Ontario who sell their products on the North American market. The project to expand the Montreal plant will therefore ensure the supply of refined sugar to customers in the eastern provinces, says Jean-Sébastien Couillard.
Exports abroad are not planned. The “new” production in Montreal is intended for producers in the region. Only 25% of the Montreal plant’s total production is shipped to Toronto for the Ontario market, the finance vice president specifies.
The raw sugar comes mainly from Brazil and is unloaded at the port of Montreal to then be refined at the plant in the metropolis on Boulevard Notre-Dame, explains Jean-Sébastien Couillard. Rogers Sugar plans to integrate the additional production into the Canadian market within two years.
In addition, shipments of raw sugar are also refined in Vancouver. Rogers Sugar also owns a sugar beet processing facility in Taber, Alberta, as well as a line of maple products. The Montreal refinery produces more than 60% of the company’s total production, Couillard says.
He also specifies that the expansion of the Montreal plant and the development of infrastructure in Toronto will consolidate and create jobs in the two metropolises. According to him, it is still too early to have the exact numbers.
A “solid performance”
Rogers Sugar also reported a “strong performance” in the sugar business on Thursday. The Canadian company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were more than $23 million in the third quarter, according to the latest financial report. That’s up 5.9 million from the third quarter of 2021.
“Demand for Canadian refined sugar remained very strong during the third quarter of fiscal 2022 and we expect it to continue for the foreseeable future as market conditions remain favorable,” said Mike Walton, President and Chief of the Management of Rogers and Lantic in a press release.
This revival can be explained in particular by the production and sales successes in the sugar sector. It posted Adjusted EBITDA of 20 million in the third quarter, up more than 5.7 million from the same period last year.
Considering the market situation in the sugar sector, Rogers Sugar expects to have sold 785,000 tons by the end of 2022, which is 10,000 tons more than in 2021.