The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah has said constant operation of the Komenda Sugar Factory is being hampered by erratic power supply.
According to him, the factory is yet to be connected to the national grid to enjoy constant power from the Electricity Company of Ghana.
“…Almost all industries depend on power so if you have heard about some difficulties with the Komenda Sugar Factory it is not about them closing down. It is the fact that they have had some difficulty with having access to direct power from the ECG and have been using some generators and transformers which don’t give them all the power they need.
“So it is not a fault of the factory that they have that problem. It is just the challenge we have in the power sector as a whole which all of us endure in our homes and offices when power goes off from time to time and the factory is enduring that,” Dr. Spio-Garbrah told journalists at the launch of the First ECOWAS Industrial Summit in Ghana.
He added that the development is a threat to the production of quality sugar for consumers, “but you know factories are very unique they must have consistent power. So just imagine that a sugar factory needs to produce sugar in a manner which allows the sugarcane and the liquid to move a certain pace to be heated to cold and to go through about 20 different processes before the crystal called sugar are produced. If you don’t get power at a certain point and the liquids do not get to the right heat or cannot get to the right lower temperature you won’t get the so called crystals at the end.”
President John Mahama commissioned the Komenda Sugar Factory on Tuesday, May 31.
The sugar factory, one of Ghana’s oldest factories, is located in the coastal community of Komenda, near Cape Coast, 144 km west of the national capital.
The EXIM bank invested 35 million U.S. dollars while the government of Ghana provided 1.5 million dollars for the construction.
The factory, originally established by Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah in 1960, was closed down in the 1980s after years of mismanagement.
Ghana now spends at least 200 million dollars annually on sugar imports, thereby contributing greatly to the weakening of Ghana’s local cedi currency.