Process to attract investor for Komenda Sugar Factory completed 

Alan Kyeremateng

Mr Allan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has announced that the process to attract a new strategic investor for the Komenda Sugar Factory has been completed.

“Accordingly, a recommendation from the Transaction Advisor to the Ministry and Cabinet for consideration has been made and the final decision would be taken by the end of April, 2019.”

Mr Kyeremanteng made the statement in response to a question by Dr Samuel Atta-Mills, Member of Parliament (MP) for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem, when he appeared before Parliament.

Dr Atta-Mills wanted to know why the Komenda Sugar Factory has been shut down.

Mr Kyeremanteng also explained that the previous government, in late 2016, went through a process of divesting its majority shares to a private investor.

However, the process was aborted due to the failure of the identified investor to fulfill the obligations under the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

He said the Ministry, in an effort to put the factory to viable commercial production, decided to initiate a new process, in collaboration with the Transaction Advisor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, to attract a strategic investor to acquire the assets of the Komenda Sugar Factory and manage its operations.

Mr Kyeremanteng said, the factory after its commissioning by the previous government on May 31, 2016, has been idle due to deficiencies in the planning of the project and other financial, technical and legal challenges.

He said in September 2017, the Ministry commissioned a technical audit of the Factory to ascertain its technical and operational status.

Mr Kyeremanteng said the findings of the technical audit showed that a test run was never completed before the factory was commissioned due to the unavailability of sufficient sugar cane for the test.

He said the factory, on commissioning, was not in a position to produce the required white refined sugar due to the absence of some processing component units such as the Melt Clarification units, Vertical Crystallizers and Dosing System.

He said, overall, about 35 items had not been installed on commissioning although they were critical for the production of Sulphurless white sugar.

Mr Kyeremanteng also explained that the land size available for the sugarcane was far less than the 6,000 acres required to supply the factory to run at full capacity.

He said there has been no out-grower scheme developed for small scale farm holders to support a nucleus plantation for the factory.

He said largely, the soil condition in the factory catchments area was not favourable and required significant application of both organic and inorganic fertilizers to improve yield.

Source: GNA

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