Rum producing giant DDL commissions another warehouse

…reaches agreement with SPU to use canes in the fields to sustain its operationsThe new rum aging facility – Warehouse ‘M’ – at DDL’s Plantation Diamond locationLocal rum producing giant Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) on Friday commissioned a  new warehouse facility that would be used to age its award-winning rum.The 41,625-square-foot warehouse was constructed at a cost of $340 million in the Bottling Plant Compound at Plantation Great Diamond, East Bank Demerara.The new Rum Aging Warehouse has a capacity to hold 30,000 barrels, which represents a one-third increase of its current capacity from four existing warehouses. Those four facilities carry an annual turnover of 90,000 barrels held in storage or that are processed.DDL Chairman, Komal Samaroo, posited that the new Rum Aging facility is the first manifestation of a major expansion project that the company has embarked upon.Noting that it was a significant investment, the Chairman pointed out that when filled with rum, the value of the facility will be pegged at some US$10 million. He added that three more such facilities are expected to be constructed.“It’s a really very big risk, but it’s a risk that we’re taking because we believe in what we do. We believe in our product, and I’m pleased to say that we were the pioneer of aged rum on the international market,” Samaroo stated.While declaring his optimism in the role that DDL would play in the rum industry on a global scale, Samaroo added, “creating a global brand is an expensive proposition; it is not done overnight. It requires huge investments over many years, it is a long-term strategy, and DDL is fully committed to building its El Dorado Rum brand around the world.”The acting Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, who commissioned the new facility on Friday, commended the company for blazing a trail in its rum production operations.SPU agreementSPU Head, Colvin Heath-London, and DDL Chairman, in conversation with others at the event on FridayMeanwhile after weeks of uncertainty over where to source molasses to continue rum production following the downsizing of the sugar industry, DDL on Friday finalised a deal with the NICIL’s Special Purpose Unit (SPU) to use the canes in the fields to sustain its operations for the rest of 2018.DDL Chairman, Samaroo revealed that “an agreement for the rest of 2018 to harvest the standing canes in the fields and to convert it into inputs for the rum production, so that we can continue producing throughout the year,” was reached with the SPU.The downsizing of the sugar industry, which saw thousands of sugar workers losing their jobs, has also severely affected DDL’s operations with the unavailability of molasses.Moreover, the three remaining estates – Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion – are projected to produce a total of 52,000 tons of molasses this year. However, DDL’s molasses requirement for 2018 is 70,000 tons.The company has since been exploring options, and was even contemplating importing molasses to sustain rum production to meet its increasing local and international demands.Nevertheless, as a long-term solution to this challenge, the company has submitted an expression of interest (EoI) to NICIL and to Government for the potential purchase of the now closed Enmore Estate.Samaroo went on to say that, in the meantime, the company is awaiting the completion of ongoing valuation being done on GuySuCo’s assets to start negotiations and have serious discussions on a more sustainable solution going forward. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDDL Group records $2.3B increase in profit for 2018March 11, 2019In “Business”DDL partners with CPL for new iconic 5-year Masters RumJuly 21, 2017In “Business”DDL says it will invest $10B in 3 years to diversify income base, increase export earningsOctober 5, 2017In “Business”