Kakira Sugar Limited is set to increase its power generation capacity after completing the construction of its co-generation plant at the factory.
Kakira's managing director, Mayur Madhvani, said the $65m expansion project at the factory will see generation of 52mega watts (MW) of power by July this year up from the 22MW the factory has been generating.
Mayur told New Vision that the factory currently generates 22MW of power and sells 14MW to the national grid. "By mid-March Kakira will be generating 32MW and will be selling 22MW to the national grid. In July this year we will generate 52MW and sell 32MW to the grid on a regular basis," Mayur said.
Mayur added that the factory will be able to crush two million tonnes of cane per annum. "The out-growers will provide 1.40
million tonnes of cane and the balance of 600,000 tonnes will come from the company's own estate. This will enable us produce 180,000 tonnes of sugar per annum," Mayur said.
Mayur added that increased production will lead to production of more cane waste, known as baggasse, from which the electricity is generated. He said the expansion, which includes installation of turbines, alternators and construction of a new boiler is well underway and will be complete by June 2013.
"Jinja town, including industries, consumes around 18MW of power per day. Kakira will be giving 32MW so we will be giving more than Jinja, Kamuli and Iganga. The 52MW generated will be equivalent to power generated by one turbine at the new Bujagali Dam," he explained.
He said in future Kakira will produce ethanol from molasses. Ethanol can be blended with fuel to run vehicles and machines. "Producing ethanol from molasses is not new, it is being done else where in the world, but Kakira wants to produce renewable energy," he said. Kakira employs 8000 people.