Tanzanian multimillionaire Said Bakhresa, founder of the esteemed Bakhresa Group and one of Africa’s wealthiest individuals, is gearing up to revolutionize Malawi’s cooking oil production landscape with a groundbreaking $101-million investment.
The investment, through Bakhresa Malawi Limited, a subsidiary of the conglomerate, is poised to address Malawi’s dependency on cooking oil imports with the launch of a state-of-the-art cooking oil refining plant with an initial capacity to process 500 tonnes of soya per day.
This strategic move aims to bolster the local industry, substituting imports, and contributing significantly to the nation’s foreign exchange economy.
Bakhresa Malawi’s $101-million mega plant nears completion, eyes April-May 2024 launch
“The plant’s initial capacity is set to crush 500 tonnes of soya per day, primarily for extracting crude oil. In addition to cooking oil, the facility will produce various by-products and derived products, including soybean meal, lecithin, free fatty acids, and soap, with a focus on export markets,” said Richard Tchereko, the director of human resources at Bakhresa Malawi.
The construction of the mega plant is reported to be 80-percent complete, with a total investment of MWK170 billion ($101 million) mobilized for the project. Tchereko disclosed plans to unveil the plant in Blantyre between April and May 2024, marking a milestone in Malawi’s journey towards self-sufficiency in cooking oil production.
Bakhresa’s holistic approach to bolster Malawi’s cooking oil sector and economy
Bakhresa’s planned investment holds immense significance in enhancing Malawi’s self-sufficiency in cooking oil production. The mega project not only promises benefits for Bakhresa Group and the agricultural sector but also foresees positive impacts on the broader economic landscape of Malawi.
To ensure a stable supply of raw materials, Bakhresa Malawi has partnered with local producers and farmer cooperatives to procure 150,000 tonnes of soya annually — representing half of Malawi’s national soya production of 300,000 tonnes. This extends beyond business objectives, intending to encourage small farmers to diversify their crops and expand soya cultivation.
Said Bakhresa’s billion-dollar legacy: Navigating Tanzania’s business landscape
With an estimated fortune exceeding $600 million in 2015, Bakhresa stands among the top three wealthiest individuals in Tanzania alongside Mohammed Dewji and Rostam Aziz. His conglomerate, Bakhresa Group, maintains active operations in various sectors including food and beverages, logistics, agro-processing, media, hotels, and marine transportation.
In June 2022, Bakhresa Group initiated operations at its $300-million sugar factory, operated by Bagamoyo Sugar Limited. The project, with an installed capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes per year, is anticipated to increase to 100,000 tonnes upon the completion of all three phases.