May 22, 2018 / 1:39 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Barry Callebaut to boost Ivory Coast cocoa grinding capacity

(Adds details on upgrades)

ABIDJAN, May 22 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s Barry Callebaut plans to boost the annual grinding capacity of its facilities in Ivory Coast to 230,000 tonnes from 170,000 tonnes by 2022, CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said on state-owned broadcaster RTI.

The company plans to invest around 30 billion CFA francs ($53 million) in the upgrades from next year, he said during a ceremony over the weekend.

Barry Callebaut will double capacity at the Abidjan facility of its local unit Société Africaine de Cacao (SACO) from 50,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes. It will upgrade its factory in the port city of San Pedro for an additional 10,000 tonnes of installed capacity, taking it up to 130,000 tonnes.

The Swiss company is Ivory Coast’s biggest cocoa processor, accounting for around 27 percent of total installed capacity.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, wants to process domestically 50 percent of its cocoa bean production by 2020 and is granting tax benefits and exemptions to grinders who increase their capacities. ($1 = 571.3900 CFA francs) (Reporting by Ange Aboa Editing by Joe Bavier and Louise Heavens/Adrian Croft)

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