Universal planning investment projects

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond-based tobacco leaf dealer Universal Corp. said Thursday that it is planning several new capital investment projects in Africa to increase and enhance the company’s infrastructure there.

Universal has operations in six African nations. The largest of the projects is in Mozambique, where the company buys tobacco from about 100,000 farmers.

Universal expects to invest $40 to $45 million over two years to expand its tobacco production and processing capabilities there to meet strong customer demand.

In Mozambique, the company will add a second tobacco processing line at its factory in the province of Tete, doubling the plant’s capacity. The company also will make investments to support expanded crop production.

The other African projects involve efficiency improvements and equipment enhancements at the company’s plants in Tanzania and Malawi.

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