ALGERIA – Cevital Food, a leading agro-industry company in Algeria has launched its cooking oil production plant in the wilaya of Béjaïa in a bid to help reduce the country’s oilseed and cooking oil import bill.
In Algeria, cooking oil is the 4th most imported food product after cereals, dairy products, and sugar. The production of local industry covers less than 25% of consumption needs.
Cevital officials, therefore, believe that the entry into production of the new plant should also help reduce the country’s oilseed and cooking oil import bill.
According to Ecofin Agency, the new facility covers an area of more than 1.2 hectares with a daily crushing capacity of 22,000 tonnes of oilseeds (11,000 tonnes of soybeans, 6,000 tonnes of sunflower, and 5,000 tonnes of rapeseed
The company also unveiled that the plant will produce more than 6,820 tonnes of cooking oil per day and 15,200 tonnes of oilcake for livestock feed.
Created in 1998 as an affiliated company to the Cevital Group, the Cevital Food industry is a leader in the food sector and also the biggest private complex in Algeria.
The agri-food giant consists of various production units such as an oil refinery, a sugar refinery, a margarine production unit, a mineral water packaging unit, a unit for producing and packaging refreshing drinks, a cannery, port silos as well as a terminal for port unloading
According to the officials, the plant is envisaged to employ 300 people and is expected to increase this number to 500 over time as part of a socio-economic boost for Algerian citizens.
“The plant will enter production gradually from May 31 to reach its maximum level at the end of the current year. It is from our factory that we produce soybean, sunflower, and rapeseed oil” said Lounès Ihaddaden, industrial director of Cevital.
Malik Rebrab, CEO of Cevital highlighted that the factory’s production will depend exclusively on local farmers for its supply of the various raw materials, to create a brand of 100% Algerian cooking oil.
“In line with this government strategy, we are working closely with stakeholders in the oilseed sector, namely the Ministry of Agriculture, the farmers themselves, and the Cereals Interprofessional Office (OAIC), to meet this challenge,” said Malik
According to USDA data, the North African country is the world’s third-largest importer of soybean oil behind India and Bangladesh with a stock of 604,000 tons purchased on the international market in 2021/ 2022.