KENYA – Sukari Industries, a private owned sugar manufacturing company in Nyanza, West of Kenya is seeking a permit from the Energy & Petroleum Regulatory Authority to put up a six-megawatt power generation plant that will be used to run the factory’s operations.

In a public notice, the company stated, the power generation is from a backpressure steam turbine in line with a boiler using sugar cane bagasse (biomass) as a fuel to generate steam.

Sukari has clearly stipulated that the grant of the licence will not have any adverse effect on public or local authorities, companies, persons or bodies of persons within the area of undertakings.

In this regard the company has called on any persons objecting the move to do so in a letter to the regulator.

The firm is the latest to venture into own power generation using its by-products in bid to cut costs and diversify into other income generating activities.

The Sukari industries which is co-owned alongside West Kenya and Olepito Sugar Company by Billionaire Jaswant Rai now controls the largest share of Kenya’s sugar output amounting to over a third of the sugar produced locally according to a report by the Sugar Directorate.

West Kenya Sugar Company has extended its industry leadership in production as the firm widened its market share to 22 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The sugar miller raised its share from the corresponding period last year when its output accounted for 19 percent of the total production of the commodity in the country.

The firm, which produces and distributes the Kabras brand, saw its output rise to 31,000 metric tonnes.

Private millers led the pack of highest performers with the former leader, government owned Mumias Sugar Company continuing to register dismal performance.

Despite of that sugar millers’ revenues have over time been hit by stiff competition from other processors and cheap imports.

Sugar imports grew 102 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period of last year, causing the ex-factory price of the sweetener to fall marginally.

Imports of the sweetener between January and June stood at 200,442 tonnes compared with 99,144 tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

Sugar production declined by six percent in the review period compared with last year following poor performance by State-owned milling firms.