Eldoret-based Rivatex Company will this month launch a multi-billion-shilling modernisation using a credit line facility provided by India. First Secretary and Head of Chancery at the Indian High Commission R. Chandramouli says Rivatex has completed putting up an infrastructure where new machines are expected to be installed, paving the way for the process.
Installation of the machines was delayed until some of the works at the factory are completed, Mr Chandramouli said.
“The upgrade of Rivatex is expected to commence in May 2018 as everything is now in place,” he said at the end of April.
The official said 20 percent of the funds have been disbursed to the factory, which has been underperforming because of obsolete technology and lack of raw materials. The money is part of the Sh3.016 billion the company secured a grant from the Indian for technology transfer and purchase of new machines.
The loan was extended to the country following the visit by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kenya in 2017. Indian firm Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd will install the new machines in a process that Rivatex targets will give it an edge in the market.
The modernisation of the two departments is expected to create 10,000 new jobs as it targets to produce textile to meet the local and foreign markets. The company used to produce millions of tonnes of fabric before it was placed under receivership in the year 2000 following massive mismanagement.
The fabric consisted of 5.5 million metres of dyed cotton, 7.7 million metres of printed cotton, 1.17 and 0.55 million metres of dyed and printed polyester viscose respectively. Kenya produces 30,000 bales annually against the spinning capacity of about 10,000 metric tonnes of lint.
To bridge the gap, Kenya imports substantial amounts of cotton lint and seed cake for local textile mills and feed manufacture, mainly from Uganda and Tanzania.
In the 1970s and 1980s when cotton farming was second in the country in terms of employment after public service, Bura used to produce 30 percent of the national production.