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Minister for Trade and Industry, John Alan Kyerematen, has stated that the Komenda Sugar Factory would be taken over by a private investor. Kyerematen indicated on the floor of Parliament on Thursday that the Ministry, in an effort to put the factory to commercial production, has decided to initiate a new process in collaboration with its transaction advisor – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to attract a private investor to take over.
Answering a question by the Member of Parliament for the Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem Constituency, Samuel Attah-Mills on why the ministry has shut down the factory, the Minister said his Ministry is in consultation, to ensure that a strategic investor acquires the assets of the factory and manage the company’s operations. He also apprised members that the bid evaluation process has been completed by PwC and a recommendation has been made for consideration by the Ministry and Cabinet.
The minister also reiterated on the floor of the House that the final decision in respect of the matter would be taken by the end of April, 2019. The Trade and Industry Minister revealed that the previous government in late 2016 went through a process of divesting its majority shares to a private investor. He however explained that the process was aborted due to the failure of the identified investor to fulfill the obligations under the Sales and Purchase Agreement.
Kyerematen further explained that in September 2017, the Ministry commissioned a technical audit of the factory to ascertain its technical and operational status, and the findings of the technical audit revealed that a test-run was never completed before the factory was commissioned due to the unavailability of insufficient sugar cane.
He again stated that the factory upon commissioning was not in a position, to produce the required white refined sugar due to the absence of melt clarification units, vertical crystallizers and a dosing system of the processing component units. Kyerematen stated that about 35 items had not been installed on commissioning although the items are critical for the production of sulphurless white sugar.
“The land size available for cultivation is far less than the 6,000 acres required to supply sugar cane to run the factory at full capacity. There has been no out-grower scheme developed for small scale farm holders to support a nucleus plantation for the factory. Generally, the soil condition in the factory catchment area is not favorable and requires significant application of both organic and inorganic fertilizers to improve yields”, Kyerematen stated.
Source: Theresa Adezewa Ayittey