Heavy rains threaten Mumias plan to restart sugarcane milling
Heavy rains could further delay Mumias Sugar Company’s #ticker:MSC plan to restart cane processing after the miller temporarily shut down operations last month due to cane shortage.
Chief executive Nashon Aseka said on Wednesday that sugarcane farms are waterlogged making it difficult to transport the raw material to the factory.
“We are still planning on how to restart milling but we are experiencing difficulties due to heavy rain which has disrupted transportation of raw materials,” said Mr Aseka.
“We are in the season when factories shut down for maintenance but we hope to start crushing when the weather improves.”
Mumias is focusing on ethanol production to sustain its operations after demand for the product improved.
The miller and the Kakamega county government have agreed to set up a joint committee to address issues related to sugarcane production. The committee is expected to start work next week.
Last month, Deputy President William Ruto said the government had asked the management of the company to develop a turnaround plan before more funds are released.
“We have asked the CEO to develop the plan before any additional funds are released for the revival of the miller. We don’t want the bailout cash to be diverted to other uses,” said Mr Ruto.
He spoke when he attended a homecoming party for Education secretary Amina Mohamed at Amalemba Primary School.
When the miller announced the temporary shutdown last month, Mr Aseka said only the sugar production line had been affected and that other operations including ethanol production were ongoing.
The miller has for the last six months been struggling to sustain operations amid a crippling shortage of cane in its catchment.