Illovo Sugar (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Illovo sugar group and its operations include the cultivation of sugar cane and production of raw and refined sugar. Downstream of the sugar manufacturing process, the company also manufactures furfural, furfuryl alcohol, Agriguard, diacetyl, 2.3-pentanedione and ethanol.  This product array is further complemented by the production of Illovo’s signature brand of syrup products, together with lactulose. Illovo’s sugar markets are largely domestic to major industrial manufacturers of sugar containing products (cool drinks, sweets, canned fruit, biscuits, etc.), with sales to the world raw sugar market.

The downstream product range is primarily export-focused, with furfural being used to produce furfural alcohol and for use in lube oil refineries as an extractive solvent in the purification of base oils. It is also used for specialist applications such as the manufacture of grinding wheels, friction pellets for brake pads, crucible manufacture, and to a lesser extent as a flavour ingredient. For its part, furfuryl alcohol is used to produce a resin used in the foundry industry as a polymeric binder for foundry sands. It is also used for wood treatment, to produce acid-resistant coatings and certain pharmaceuticals, and as a flavour ingredient.

The company’s two ethanol distilleries produce a very high quality potable alcohol used by liquor industries for the production of branded alcoholic drinks (e.g. canes, vodkas, gins, rums, liqueurs and aperitifs), with other grades of alcohol used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and paint industries.

The company also operates a state-of-the-art sugar warehouse and distribution centre providing a strategic link between its sugar factories KwaZulu-Natal and its nationally-based customers. There are six sugar producers in South Africa with combined production of around 2 million tons.

Business profile:

  • Three agricultural estates; four sugar factories; one refinery; three wholly-owned downstream plants / 50% share in a distillery

  • 30% investment in a further sugar factory and refinery

  • Produces raw and refined sugar; syrup and downstream products

  • Internal electricity generation

  • 2 179 permanent employees

  • 1 366 seasonal agricultural workers at peak periods


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