Kwale International Sugar Company Limited (KISCOL) will commence supplying power to the national grid by end of this month, November. Located in Ramisi, Kwale County, the firm has a $300 million sugar processing plant which uses bagasse, a by-product of sugar production as its main source of raw material for electricity generation.
According to a published post, 25 per cent of electricity produced is used by the factory, 25 per cent for water supply and irrigation system pumps and 50 per cent will now be supplied to the national grid to ease Kenya’s demand for power.
The company also plans to construct a distillery or fermentation plant to upgrade its molasses. The molasses would be recycled to ethanol for blending with fuel, extra neutral alcohol for alcohol consumption or pharmaceutical use or yeast.
Sugar factories also produce ‘Vinasse’, a final by-product of biomass distillation for the production of ethanol. Kiscol has already placed systems to ensure that most of the by-product becomes economically beneficial to the project through acceptable alternative treatments and uses.
Kiscol is one of the largest private green field investment projects in Africa. Mauritian sugar manufacturer, Omnicane owns a 25 per cent stake in the Kwale sugar miller while Kiscol has a 75 per cent family owned investment company, Pabari Investments.
The firm began sugar production in March 2013 and was the first to use highly mechanized drip irrigation for tending cane in Kenya. It took over the defunct Ramisi Sugar Factory and put up a state-of-the-art milling plant in Ramisi at a cost of KES18 billion ($180 million). Further, the plant can daily crush a capacity of 3,000-5,000 tonnes per day.