Over 7000 jobs will be created with the coming on board of the Komenda Sugar Factory in the Central region.
Commissioning the refurbished factory on Monday, President John Mahama said more direct and indirect jobs will be created as part of the transforming lives agenda.
“It’s a great joy to be back after two years to commission it,” Mahama said at a gathering of chiefs and people of Komenda. He said the new factory will not “only diverse our economy” but will enhance export business while moving Ghana into self-dependence.
A view of the Komenda Sugar factory
The factory was established decades ago by the late President Kwame Nkrumah but was later closed down leaving hundreds jobless after some technical and operational challenges. Two years ago, government secured a 35 million dollars Indian Exim Bank facility to revive it.
Excited residents of Komenda exchanging pleasantries with the President
Currently, Ghana’s annual sugar requirement is estimated at close to 400,000 tonnes and the factory is expected to produce value added by-products such as energy and alcohol to support other industries.
“The revival of the Komenda Sugar plant was one of our major plans in the transforming lives agenda. It will provide direct and indirect jobs to an estimated 7000 people… It was providing jobs to 1000 people directly when it was established,” Mahama noted.
He said currently the capacity of the plant is 1,250 tonnes per day which is “25% bigger than the original plant.”
The factory is expected to produce other by-products such as Molasses or black treacle – a viscous by-product in the refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar – which is used in alcohol production as well as ethanol for fuel. He said some of the by-products will be used to generate about 3MW of power of which the factory needs 1MW while the rest will be channeled into the national grid.
The new plant will reduce the amount of sugar imports, create job, improve the living standards of sugarcane farmers and contribute to the transformation of the Ghanaian economy.
Mahama counseled the locals to “keep a watchful eye on this factory so it doesn’t go the way the old one went. The collapse of the old factory led to a lost of jobs. We must keep it.”