OMNICANE AT A GLANCE
Omnicane was launched in July 2009 through a strategic re-branding of Mon-Trésor-Mon-Désert Ltd, a long established sugar cane group in Mauritius which origins can be traced back to the 1850s. Its agricultural activities are centered in the South of Mauritius although Omnicane owns lands in the Central part also. MTMD was owned by various companies in time including Lonrho, Illovo Sugar Limited (1997-2001) and the holding BBHM as from 2002 to 2009. Omnicane was among the first entities to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
As a result of the 36% reduction in the price of sugar that Mauritius has suffered as a member of the ACP-EU Sugar Protocol in consequence of the reform of the EU sugar regime, the Mauritian sugar industry including Omnicane, has had to adapt to a massive fall in revenue by cutting costs, increasing output, and generating other revenues.
That has involved rationalization of the industry’s factory operations on a regional basis, with the closure, in recent years, of five factories in the South of Mauritius and the centralisation of their operations on two units owned by Omnicane Milling Operations Ltd. These include a state-of-the-art factory at La Baraque; with a crushing capacity of 8,000 metric tonnes of cane per day and the only diffuser in operation in the island, it is the most modern sugar-cane mill in the region.
Omnicane’s main activities currently include the production of refined sugar (about 150,000 tonnes per year, of a quality wholly compliant with the EU’s stringent food standards), and the generation of energy from bagasse and coal.
The Company has a unitary board of directors which comprises 12 directors; 2 executives and 10 non-executives. The Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the business is a going concern, and to this end effectively controls the group and its management and is involved in all decisions that are material for this purpose.
In 2009, a sugar refinery was set up at La Baraque with Brazilian technology necessitating an investment of MUR 1 250 millions (USD 4 millions). The refinery with a capacity of 600 tonnes per day will produce direct consumption sugar for the European market through a contract with the German firm Sudzucker which will last until 2014.
Omnicane Group is currently involved in electric power generation in two units namely Omnicane Thermal Energy Operations (Saint Aubin) Limited and Omnicane Thermal Energy Operations (La Baraque) Limited. Omnicane Thermal Energy Operations (Saint Aubin) Limited is equipped with a 34,5 MW condensing type coal generator. It has been in operation since 2005. Omnicane Thermal Energy Operations (La Baraque) Limited is one of the largest coal/bagasse cogeneration plants in the world and is equipped with two units of 44.5 MW each. They are of the condensing type with extraction and they use either bagasse or coal as fuel. The Group’s power plants contributes about 28.06% of exported electricity to the national grid as a percentage of total electricity generated in Mauritius annually.
Omnicane is engaged in agricultural diversification activities. It is at present investing into cold rooms and other facilities in the framework of a project to ensure food security, which together with other producers in the region will result in a production of 10 000 tonnes of potato in the coming years making the island self-sufficient in this commodity. Omnicane is also involved in vegetable, palm heart, fresh water shrimp and venison production as well as flower production mainly Anthurium andreanum for the export market. Other activities include logistics through Omnicane Logistics for transport of cane, sugar, molasses, rocks, etc. It is involved in stone crushing for aggregates for the building industry through Sud Concassage Ltée.
Among the new projects being planned by Omnicane is a wind farm of 22 MW with 22 turbines of 1 MW each, for operation in 2013, an ethanol distillery of an annual capacity of 22.5 millions litres for entry into operation in 2013, a new energy producing entity to be set up at La Baraque industrial site to cater for the energy requirements of the distillery and refinery with excess electricity produced to be made available to the grid, and a carbon burnout unit to treat the waste from the coal power plants.