20 December 2012

Kenya: Mauritius Firm in Sh1.7 Billion Sugar Sector Venture

Nairobi — Mauritius company Omnicane has purchased equity worth Sh1.7 billion in Kwale International Sugar Company Limited (KISCOL) which will see it own 25 percent of the start up.

"Our Mauritian partners have done a great job setting up the estate from scratch during the last two years. To ensure that the project benefits from unrivalled expertise. We are now formalising that partnership by selling 25 percent of Kiscol's shares to Omnicane Limited," KISCOL Director Kaushik Pabari said.

KISCOL was formed in 2010 through a management partnership between Kenyan company Pabari Investments Limited and Omnicane with the shareholder agreement signed in November.

Pabari expressed confidence that the investment will increase the living standard of Kwale residents through the creation of employment and improved infrastructure.

"We believe that this investment in KISCOL will not only improve the livelihoods of the district's residents but also elevate the local economy from one of the poorest in the country to a respectable level."

The partnership is aimed at setting up a sugar production facility, a power plant and a bio ethanol distillery in Kwale district.

Omnicane generates 30 percent of the electricity generated in Mauritius annually and hopes to replicate their success here, the company Chief Executive Officer Jacques M. d'Unienville revealed.

"Sugarcane is one of the most productive and versatile sources of renewable energy under the sun; turning it into thermal energy and bio ethanol that is the expertise that we are investing in Kenya through KISCOL."

The project will cost Sh17 billion to complete with 15,000 acres of sugarcane already cultivated. The factory and 18 MW power plant are projected to be operational by August next year. The 300,000 litre bio-ethanol-distillery will follow thereafter.

The factory is expected to have the capacity to crush 3,000 tonnes of cane per day. Omnicane produces 150,000 tonnes of refined sugar annually in Mauritius destined for the European market.

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