Alan Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has said that the new investor in the Komenda Sugar Factory should launch implementation of the roadmap for the project after the COVID-19 outbreak is over.
The factory is yet to resume full operations after being shut down for about three years, despite the fanfare that heralded its opening.
A strategic investor, Park Agrotech, has since been selected to revive the factory after a technical audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Answering a question in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry said the government’s ban on foreign travel, coupled with border closures, has also affected the process of restoring the factory.
Back to life
“I am happy to inform this House that in June 2019, Park Afrotech Ghana Ltd was approved by cabinet as the preferred strategic investor for the Komenda Sugar Factory. Park Afrotech Ltd is a company incorporated and operating in Ghana in the agribusiness sector.
“It will be working with STM Project Ltd, an Indian-based company that has extensive experience in the management of sugar mills and plantations, both in India and other parts of the world.
“. . . following the approval by cabinet as required by commercial practice, the transactional advisors entered into final negotiations with a successful bidder with a bid to entering into a concession agreement for the operations of the Komenda Sugar Factory,” he said.
In 2014 the Government of Ghana secured a US$35 million loan from an Indian Exim Bank facility to bring the factory back to life after several years of inactivity.
The factory is to ensure sustainable development of sugarcane plantations and, in turn, to harness the continuous growth and smooth running of the facility.
It was revamped in May 2016 but has since faced all manner of challenges. It was closed down in June 2016, barely a month after being commissioned.
In November 2017, the government initiated processes to revive the factory’s operations.
Ghana’s annual sugar requirement is estimated at close to 400,000 tonnes. The factory expects to be able to crush roughly 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane each day.
At full capacity, it can produce 250,000 tonnes of sugar a year.
The factory is expected to produce value-added by-products such as biofuels and alcohol to support industry.