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Butali Sugar Company eyes more revenue with 12 megawatts power project

By Luke Anami | Nov 29th 2013 | 2 min read

By Luke Anami

Butali Sugar Company is in the process of constructing a power generation plant that will see it add 12 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid.

If the plant is successful, Butali will be the second sugar factory after Mumias to generate electricity besides making sugar. Speaking at the factory premises in Butali, the firm’s administrative manager, Pratap Keshwala, said work on the plant is in progress.

“We intend to commission a co-generation plant next year that will see Butali generate at least 12MW. This will cushion Butali from the lifting of Comesa safeguards next year,” Mr Keshwala said.

The Government signed the Comesa treaty that allowed free trade among member countries in 1993. This opened a floodgate of imported sugar, affecting local sales of all sugar companies.

The move sent the Government to the drawing board, calling on millers to come up with alternative ways of making money. “We want to be ready when the Comesa safeguards are finally lifted,” Keshwala explained.

Mumias Sugar Company Limited is the only major sugar plant that has installed a power production plant, which has seen its generating capacity increase to 35MW. Mumias currently pumps up to 25MW to the national grid.

Economic growth

“Butali has a cane crushing capacity of 1,200 tonnes compared to West Kenya Sugar Company’s 1,500. The raw material, bagasse, is readily available and currently we give to Mumias 300 tonnes per day for free,” Keshwala explained.

Kakamega region suffers from frequent blackouts that have made it difficult to do business and it is hoped that Butali’s plans will alleviate this problem.

Kenya has been facing severe power shortages, which have stifled economic growth potential and efforts to improve the welfare of citizens.


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