Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya’s largest sugar company, has launched a KES 3.5 billion (USD 45 million) project to build an ethanol distillery plant in order to diversify its revenue base. The company also plans to spend some KES 23.4 billion (USD 31.14 million) in acquiring other sugar operations in the country and in the region over the next five years.
Mumias signed on Dec. 15 an agreement with the Indian engineering company, Avant Garde, which will undertake the design, construction and procurement management of the Mumias Ethanol Distillery Project at the sugar miller’s complex in Mumias. It will take some 18 months to build the plant, and the company expects to start production and sale of ethanol by July 2011. Mumias has already commissioned a 38 megawatts power generation plant, which saves the company energy costs and sell the extra capacity to the national grid. Mumias expects ethanol revenues of over KES 1 billion (about USD 1.3 million) only in terms of supplying beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers in the region. The potential for ethanol markets in the East African Community and Comesa (the Common Market for East and Southern Africa) is promising, while the Kenyan government has recently issued a mandate for an 85-15 mixture of gasoline and ethanol.
Mumias is listed with a processing capacity of 8,000 tonnes of cane per day, and it is reported as responsible for about 60 percent of the total 560,000 tonnes of sugar produced in Kenya.