President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted he expects the Komenda Sugar Factory to commence commercial production in the first quarter of 2022.
The sugar-producing factory, established in 1964, has become defunct due to technical difficulties and setbacks. The birth of the factory was based on the premise of producing sugar locally to reduce importation but that has not yielded results since its recommissioning in 2016.
During an interview on Eagle FM in the central region, as part of a working visit to the area, President Akufo-Addo revealed that Park Agrotech Ghana Limited had been selected as the preferred strategic investor for the Komenda Sugar Factory, adding that their recommendation has been approved by Cabinet.
“However, negotiations between the Transaction Advisor (Price Water House) and the Strategic Investor have been unduly prolonged due to several demands made by the Strategic Investor, as well as the effects of the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted consultations between the investor and the Transaction Advisor,” the presidency wrote on its website outlining revival plans for the factory.
“With the delays in concluding negotiations between the Transaction Advisor and the Strategic Investor, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, after given the required notice, terminated the negotiations with the Strategic Investor on 1st September 2021 for their failure to fulfil the conditions precedent to the offer made to them,” it added.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has said the services of the Technical Partner with expertise in the sugar industry has been engaged to manage the technical operations of the factory.
As part of efforts to rope in local content personnel to revive the factory, traditional authorities in Komenda and the adjoining districts have been engaged to acquire large tracts of land for sugarcane plantations.
Trade Ministry Technical Audit
A Technical Audit report issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry has revealed several circumstances that led to the non-functionality of the Komenda Sugar factory.
The Audit Team made up of experts from academia, industry, and independent sugarcane consultants revealed that a test runs on the facility were never completed before the Komenda Sugar Factory was re-commissioned in May 2016.
This was due to the unavailability of sufficient sugarcane for the test run.
The findings, which was dated September 2017 and October 10, 2017, also showed the factory never produced any sugar after it was reconstructed.
Excerpts of the executive summary of the technical audit report shared by Abdul Malik Kweku Baako on his Facebook timeline stated that the reconstruction of the factory which was to be completed in October 2016, was completed in March 2016 – seven months earlier than the expected date of completion.