Trade Minister, Dr Ekwo Spioh-Garbrah hsa revealed that the Komenda Sugar Factory will resume operation next week. This is in fulfilment of an earlier explanation given by the Trade Minister that the sugar factory operates in seasons.
The Komenda Sugar Factory was shut down in June, barely one month after it was commissioned by President Mahama in May. Loads of criticisms had followed the factory’s closure, especially from the various opposition parties who tagged the commissioning a propaganda by the NDC.
However, Spio-Garbrah who then responded to the criticisms, explained that no sugar factory anywhere in the world carry out operations all through the year. He had explained that the plant can only be in operation when sugar cane (the principal raw material) is in season.
He had also indicated that the Komenda Sugar Factory will resume business in October. Although the October deadline was not met for undisclosed reasons, Dr Garbrah has come up to indicate that the factory will soon start working again – that is next week.
Dr Spio-Garbrah made this disclosure while speaking on Joy News’ AM Show on Thursday. The Trade Minister emphasized that the resumption of business on the factory confirms government’s earlier explanation that it will be run on a six-month cycle.
People forget that many of the agro-industries are seasonal. There are times of the year you can’t get pawpaw… there are times of the year you get sugarcane, the Dr Spio-Garbrah stressed.
Speaking further on the show, Spio-Garbrah revealed that the government has plans of putting off 70% of the factory’s shares for sale to private investors. This according to him, is to assist the government pay off debts incurred in the construction as well as regain her investment in the factory.
He indicated that so far, five companies have sent in proposals to partner government in running the Komenda Sugar Factory, adding that one of them will be selected next week. Spio-Garbrah expressed confidence in the prospects of the factory, saying that beverage industries will be willing to buy the factory’s products.
The Komenda Sugar Factory is said to have a production capacity of at least 225,000 metric tons of sugar cane per annum. This is however barely 10 percent of Ghana’s annual sugar demand, which stands at an estimated 375,000 tonnes.