Lemarco purchases Urziceni-based sugar factory

One of the top domestic sugar makers Lemarco Company has purchased the sugar factory based in Urziceni (southern Romania), which it is to re-commission in next March, following investments worth more than three million euros, the company officials announced.
The Business Standard daily quotes Lemarco sales director Dan Popovici as saying the factory, at an early stage, will put out 800 tonnes of sugar daily, with the rate to grow up to 1,000 tonnes a day.
Lemarco also forged a partnership last year with a sugar maker based in the southern town of Calarasi in order to jointly produce the quota assigned both factories in line with the European regulations in one of the two units; the move is aimed at cutting costs and boost profitability.
Lemarco has assigned this year several million euros for upgrading, increased packaging capacity, curbed gas consumption and in order to strengthen its market position.
There are several factories in Romania that process both unrefined and refined sugar at Buzau, Liesti, Urziceni, Calarasi, Corabia, Roman, Galati and Oradea.

Lemarco owns a sugar plant at Liesti, the southeastern Galati county, that can process 53,092 tonnes of sugar annually in line with the quota assigned by the Agriculture Ministry; this accounts for nearly half the company’s production capacity.
Lemarco was set up in 1990 on fully Romanian capital, to make furniture at that time. Three years later, the company began importing unrefined sugar and processing it in the Romanian plants. Lemarco purchased the Liesti-based plant in 2000, when U.S. Atlanta Corporation took over 50% of the company’s stock.
Romania, after talks with the European Union, has been assigned a quota of 109,164 tonnes of beetroot sugar, to which add a processing quota of 329,636 tonnes of cane sugar and a quota of 9,900 tonnes of isoglucose, which is a raw material in the soft drinks industry. Romania wrapped up the talks with the EU on Chapter VII. Farming in July 2004, but the order on the quota allotment was published three days before Jan. 1, 2007, the date of Romania’s accession to the European bloc. The quota allotment was enforced and completed in 2007, say representatives of the Romanian Sugar Making Employers.
They say the years 1998-2003 (the basis for the calculation in view of the negotiation of the production quotas) saw poor sugar output, with many factories being closed, with the privatised ones being re-built and not producing sugar, while many factories had already switched to the production of sugar from imported unrefined sugar.
The Romanian sugar consumption stands at more than 600,000 tonnes annually, with the average consumption per capita amounting to 28 kilograms; this compares to 35 kg in the EU.
Neighbouring Bulgaria has an annual consumption at 260,000 tonnes of sugar, meaning some 30 kg per capita.
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