KENYA – Angata Sugar Mills Limited (ASML), a sugar manufacturing company in Kenya, seeks to construct a KES4.36 billion (US$33.5M) factory in Transmara, Narok county.

The corporation has submitted an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study report to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for an environmental permit.

This is to identify and address possible direct, indirect, and significant adverse environmental and social impacts that may arise from the implementation of the proposed project.

The ESIA is also in accordance with both legal and institutional obligations under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), 1999, as amended in 2015, and the Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations, 2003, as amended in 2019.

The company’s report stated, “ASML, herein referred to as the proponent proposes to construct and operate a sugarcane milling factory with its auxiliary supporting facilities such as the effluent treatment plant (ETP) and the water treatment plant among others.”

The proposed project is also in alignment with Kenya’s pillar of foundations for macroeconomic stability in Vision 2030.

The government requires all new projects and their activities to undergo the process of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment during its planning stages to ensure that significant impacts on the environment and social aspects are taken into consideration.

This is done during the design, construction, operation and decommissioning processes of the project, as explained by ASML’s report.

ASML also communicated to ensure their new project complies with all relevant national and international laws and regulations that govern such projects.

The construction of the new factory will help increase the sugar production in Transmara which will contribute to the national domestic production of sugar.

Kenya relies on imported sugar to meet its annual deficit which has now reportedly grown to one million against the production of 800,000 tonnes per year.

More recently, the tightening supplies have seen the price of the commodity shoot from a low of KES 230 (US$1.85) for a two-kilogram pack in January 2022 to KES 320 (US$2.47).

This is mainly attributed to lower sugarcane yields caused by higher fertiliser prices which result in limited fertiliser application.

According to a report by the USDA, the sugarcane area harvested is forecast to increase by 3% from 209,000 to 215,000 hectares for the 2022/2023 marketing year, due to new plantations in Transnzoia and Narok counties.

For many farmers in these areas, sugar has become a more attractive option than maize due to lower labour requirements and guaranteed farmgate prices and sales through contracts with mills, both private and state-owned.

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