KENYA – Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries Ltd, a sugar processing and agro-allied company in Kenya, said it seeking for an electric power generation licence from the energy regulator in the country.
The company said in a statement that it is set to apply to the Energy Regulatory Commission for the licence in the generation of 3 megawatts and 15 megawatts (MW) of electricity to support its diversified operations.
“The purpose of the licence is required to generate 3 megawatts and 15 megawatts of electricity to be used in the cane milling and sugar processing plant, paper and pulp processing plant, ethanol plant, sugar refinery plant and then soon to be established, fertilizer processing plant,” the firm said in a statement.
Other sugar millers in the country have also in the past considered electricity generation to help cut on their operation costs within the competitive sector.
They include among others, Butali Sugar Mills, Mumias Sugar Company, South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony) and Muhoroni Sugar Company
According to data from Agriculture and Food Authority shows Kenya currently has 12 sugar millers with West Kenya, Transmara, Kibos, Butali, and Sukari Sugar companies leading in production.
The five produced between 57,000-98,000 tonnes of sugar each between January and November 2018.
Electricity generation within the sugar millers is among the efforts by local millers to unbundle from the challenging sugar industry in the country amid massive sugar imports to sustain the sector.
However, Kenya’s struggling sugar industry is among the sectors that has attracted top investors especially from Mauritius.
According to the Star, Mauritius Commercial Bank Chief Executive Officer, Alain Law Min, revealed that Mauritius-based firms have so far injected US$31.97 million as direct investment in local firms.
“A number of local corporates are having discussions to set up formal activities in Kenya. There is a lot of interest in the sugar industry,” Law Min said.
He said the interest in Kenya’s sugar sector by Mauritian investors was a result of abundance of expertise and an oversupply of the commodity in the island country.
Compared to Kenya, Mauritius is a net sugar importer producing on average 600, 000 tonnes of sugar are annually and exporting up to 530,000 tonnes majorly to the European Union and the UK.
However, despite increasing investments and high production potential, Kenya still relies on imports to sustain its local demand.
The country local sugar production stood at 450 335 tonnes during the first 10 months of 2018, against a total demand of over 800,000 tonnes.