Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen has told Parliament on Wednesday, 3 June 2020 that the Komenda Sugar Factory cannot be handed over to the concessionaire unless a sugar policy to guide its operation has been put in place.
The factory, located in the Central Region, was set to begin operations in mid-2020.
But Mr Kyerematen said there is the need for all stakeholders to exercise patience as the policy is being drafted to enable the concessionaire takes over fully.
“The factory was not handed over to the concessionaire for commencement of operation after the farmers’ negation with the concessionaire”, Mr Kyerematen told the legislature.
“It became obvious that unless there is a sugar policy, which will provide the strategic framework for the work of the concessionaire, it wasn’t going to be possible for us to complete the process of handing over the factory to the concessionaire. So, it only stands to reason that we go through the process.”
The Komenda Sugar Factory, which was built at a cost of $35 million from an Indian EXIM Bank facility, was inaugurated by then President John Mahama in May 2016, amid pomp and pageantry but was locked after a few test runs.
The factory was also expected to generate energy for its production activities and produce by-products such as molasses for the alcohol industry.
But many challenges, including the unreliable supply of sugarcane for continuous processing after the preliminary test run, hampered the operations of the company.
In November 2017, the Akufo-Addo government initiated processes to revive operations of the factory.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, told Parliament that a $24.5million Indian EXIM Bank credit facility was being sourced to develop and implement a plantation and out-grower scheme in a bid to provide raw materials for the factory.
Under the scheme, some 14,100 acres of sugar cane would be cultivated to feed the plant.