The Feasibility Study
Willet recommended Francis Schaffer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Schaffer was an internationally known American sugar engineering consultant who had experience of designing and commissioning sixteen sugar factories and rehabilitating a further thirty around the world. Most important of all, he had worked on the Bryant sugar factory and sugar cane plantation, which was of a similar size to the project in hand. Lonrho commissioned him to plan the technical aspect of the feasibility study and prepare a report on four proposed other sugar plants in Sudan at Melut, Mongalla, Renk Gelhak and Abu Ñama. Muir Wilson and Associates, an Irish company known to Lonrho, with extensive interests in southern Africa, was chosen to assess the factory's civil engineering. The first meeting, attended by Peter Muir and Geoff Walsh of Muir Wilson, Schaffer and Rene Leclezio, took place in London in March 1973. Schaffer was asked to proceed with the design and preliminary engineering of the sugar plant for the feasibility study.