The decision to award the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a $200m sugar refinery in Yemen will not be awarded until at least the end of 2010 due to problems with financing the project, a source has told MEED.

The source said that Al-Amoudi Group, the company behind the 803,000 tonnes a year (t/y) facility, was struggling to find investment despite booming demand for refined sugar in the Middle East.

“There are two bidders left in the running for the project, but still no sign of a decision,” the source said. “The EPC will not be announced in the short term.”

If financing of the project is secured the refinery will be built in the Aden Free Zone and construction will take 24 months.

Yemen currently imports most of its sugar from Sudan and sugar produced from the prospective facility will be sold in the domestic market with any surplus exported to other countries in the Middle East.