Bakex Millers banks on new expansion to strengthen market grip

KENYA – After successfully implementing its expansion plan, Bakex Millers Ltd, a Kenyan-based grain milling company, is aiming at strengthening its market share in the region’s flour and milling sector.

Bakex embarked on the expansion plan in 2012 which has seen the milling giant grow its flour production capacity four fold from 150 tonnes per day to the current milling capacity of 625 tonnes per day.

The producer of Atta Flour has also managed to grow its storage capacity by almost double for the initial storage capacity of 24,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes supported by the installation of a new mill.

On the back of significant growth over the years, Bakex in 2017, rolled out a US$8 million project that saw the firm replace its original mill with an ultra-modern high capacity facility.

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The investment also included construction of additional of wheat and flour silos as well as bulk loading and packing and the miller’s current operation now has three milling lines.

The company commissioned the Atta flour production line in 2018 installed by Switzerland based global technology company, Buhler Group.

The whole plant is automated using the WinCos automation plant control that allows for centralized monitoring of the entire milling process as well as generating real time reports on the various aspects under monitoring.

The family run business is majorly known for the production of the Atta wholemeal wheat flour (originating in India) which according to Rohin Shah, finance and investment executive at Bakex, has been the epicentre of the company’s growth.

“Atta is also being imported from India and sold at sky-high prices as there is no producer in Kenya. We wanted to be the first producer of this kind of flour in Kenya and also give Kenyans a more authentic and healthier Atta flour,” Shah said.

According to a report by the World Grain Bakex said the Atta mill is the first major facility in the region and will give the company a competitive edge in that market.

Along with Atta flour, Bakex produces home baking, biscuit flour, bakers flour and whole meal flour distributed to independent bakers, biscuit manufacturers and distributors across the country.

Shah said the company has gained market share in the 50-kg flour bag industry and currently has about 10% of the market.

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“With its most recent expansion last year, Bakex currently isn’t planning a new project, but it is certainly a possibility down the road.

“We have undergone a major expansion and thus are not looking to expand further just as yet, but we now aim to create more market share and increase sales volumes to enable greater demand, which may then facilitate the expansion of a new plant in the long term,” Shah said.

Bakex sources its hard and soft wheat locally and internationally from Russia, Poland, Canada, Argentina, Ukraine, the United States, Australia and others, depending on the specific requirements.

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