Gov’t not Interested in Komenda Sugar Factory – Minister for Trade

The Minister for Trade and Industry has disclosed government is not interested in operating the Komenda Sugar factory.
A strategic investor, he said, is therefore being sought to take over the factory and that government is ready to support such investor.
The minister, Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, disclosed this in Parliament on Thursday when he responded to why the sugar factory has been shut down.
According to him, the factory has been idle due to serious deficiencies in the planning of the project and other financial, technical and legal challenges.
He disclosed that in 2017, the Ministry commissioned a technical audit of the factory to ascertain its technical and operational status.
Mr. Kyeremanten indicated that the technical audit revealed a test run was never completed before the factory was commissioned due to unavailability of sufficient sugar cane for the test run.
The factory, he said, could not produce white refined sugar because of the absence of some processing components namely melt clarification units, vertical crystallizers and dosing systems, which were not installed.
He noted that about 35 items had not been installed on commissioning although they are critical for the production of white sugar.
These, the minister said, include inadequate land size for cultivation, which is less than the 6000 acres required to supply sugar cane to run the factory at full capacity.
According to him, an out -grower scheme has also not been developed for small scale farm holders to support a nucleus plantation for the factory and that the soil condition in the factory catchment area has been found to be unfavourable for sugar production and therefore requires significant application of both organic and inorganic fertilizers to improve yields.
The Minister noted that the previous government in 2016 attempted to divest its majority shares to a private investor but the process was aborted because the investor failed to fulfill obligations under the sale and purchase agreement.
Mr. Alan Kyeremanten related that the ministry has initiated a process in collaboration with the transaction advisor to attract a strategic investor to take over the assets of the sugar factory and manage its operation.
By Osumanu Al-Hassan/

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