US firm to import ethanol from Sudan

President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of Sudan

President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of Sudan

11 November 2013, Khartoum — The managing director of Kenana Sugar Company (KSC), Mohamed al-Mardi Al-Tijani, disclosed on Saturday that an American company has submitted a request to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to import ethanol from Sudan.

OFAC is an agency of the US Department of the Treasury. It administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign states, organisations, and individuals.

Al-Tijani told reporters during the inauguration of the 35th sugar production season on Saturday that several American companies are working in al-Radees sugar project which is implemented by KCS in areas of design, supply and agricultural operations.

He revealed that KCS is currently dealing with 18 US companies licensed by OFAC in areas of production, irrigation, and harvesters.

Al-Tijani added that one of the US companies was licensed by OFAC to work with KSC in drip irrigation which leads to water rationing and lowers cost of production.

He acknowledged the negative impact of the US economic sanctions on KSC particularly in production operations because harvesters don’t work at full capacity due to lack of spare parts, stressing that sanctions prevented Sudanese products from entering the US market which has 30% relative advantage compared to other markets.

Al-Tijani further said that Sudanese companies were denied access to financing due to the US sanctions, pointing that KSC advised the companies on procedures which must be followed to obtain license from OFAC.

Washington imposed economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in 1997 in response to its alleged connection to terror networks and human rights abuses. In 2007 it strengthened the embargo, citing abuses in Darfur which it labeled as genocide.

In 2010 however, the US announced it was easing sanctions on agriculture equipment and services which allowed half a dozen companies to obtain export licenses.

Sudan is also on the US list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993 even though the two countries have strengthened their counterterrorism cooperation since September 2001 attacks on Washington and New York.

– Sudan Tribune

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