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Bringing the Komenda Sugar Factory back to life commendable

As the country continues to battle the coronavirus with most socio-economic activities either at a standstill or on a downward trend, one piece of good news that has emerged that would gladden the hearts of many is, the government’s announcement on Wednesday that, it has found a strategic investor for the Komenda Sugar Factory in the Central Region.

The Trade and Industry Minister, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, in an answer to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Chereponi, Samuel Abdulai Jabanyite, said an investor had been settled on and that the factory was set to take-off. 

“Mr Speaker, I am happy to inform the House that in June 2019, Park Agrotech Ghana Limited was approved by Cabinet as the preferred strategic investor for the Komenda Sugar Factory,” he told Parliament in Accra on Wednesday. 

According to Mr Kyerematen, following the approval by Cabinet, the Transaction Advisors entered into final negotiations with the successful bidder with the view to entering into a concession agreement for the operation of the factory. 

“Over the first three years of the agreement, Park Agrotech will invest US$28 million in capital expenditure and working capital, including paying an annual concession fee of US$3.3 million for a period of 15 years.
 
“Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the formal agreement has now been executed between Park Agrotech Limited and the Komenda Sugar Development Company Limited. 
“The agreement will be effective upon completion of conditions precedent which includes the approval of the agreement by this august House,” he declared.

The Trade Minister assured that as soon as restrictions on foreign travels arising from COVID-19 were lifted and all relevant approvals secured, the technical partners of Park Agrotech will begin a comprehensive programme of action to bring the Komenda Sugar Factory back to life.
 
The Ghanaian Times welcomes the deal struck between the government and Park Agrotech Limited, a company incorporated and operating in Ghana in the agribusiness sector, together with STM Projects Limited, an Indian based company with vast experience in the management and operations for sugar mills and plantations both in India and other parts of the world.

We believe and have confidence that this is the turning point for the sugar factory that has struggled to operate since it was commissioned by the previous government in 2016.

We recall that the  Komenda Sugar Factory, established in the 1960s but rendered defunct due to technical and operational challenges, was revived by the Ex-President John Mahama-led administration in 2016 with a US$35 million loan facility from India and a US$1.5 million counterpart funding by the government of Ghana.

Unfortunately, the factory became a subject of political tussle because it could not operate as expected.

It is good news therefore, that, a strategic investor has been found and our hope is that it would operationalise the sugar factory efficiently and profitably.
 
While commending the government for successfully striking the deal, we would urge the chiefs and the people as well as local authorities to support the new investors to bring the factory back to life permanently.

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