The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has attributed the dormancy of the Komenda Sugar Factory to technical and financial challenges.
This was discovered after a technical audit, he said.
Appearing in Parliament to answer questions tabled by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA), Mr Samuel Atta-Mills, Mr Kyerematen indicated that upon the assumption of office, a technical audit was conducted on the facility, which revealed, among other things that the soil condition was not favourable to produce quality sugarcane, saying the government is taking steps to engage a new investor and expects that a decision will be taken by April this year.
Additionally, he noted that: “A test-run was never completed before the factory was commissioned due to unavailability of sufficient sugarcane”.
According to him, the factory, upon inauguration by the previous government, “was not in a position to produce the required refined white sugar due to the absence” of some processing component units “which were not fully installed during the test-run”.
He said: “About 35 items had not been installed on commissioning, although they are critical for the production of sulphur-less white sugar”.
Furthermore, he noted that the land size available for cultivation of sugarcane is far less than the 6,000 acres required to supply sugarcane to run the factory at full capacity.
He highlighted that: “There has been no out-grower scheme for small-scale farm holders to support a nucleus plantation for the factory”.
It will be recalled that the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government contracted a loan of some GHS 35 million for the revamp of the Komenda Sugar Factory.
But the minister indicated that a decision has been taken not to trigger the loan until all the challenges are resolved. The minister, however, did not provide figures concerning the cost to the nation for the delay in activation of the loan.