Kenya's first paper mill is due to start production in June this year. The mill?
Kenya's first paper mill is due to start production in June this year. The mill is being built in Webuye, Western Kenya -- an area with abundant raw supplies.
The mill has been financed by an international banking consortium, including Arab, American, African and British group, and the International Finance Corporation. Orient Paper Mills Ltd -- part of a large Indian industrial group -- has a big interest in the mill. Orient holds 32 per cent of the equity of the project, the Kenya Government 30 per cent, and the IFC 30 per cent.
The mill is expected to cost GBP 17,000,000 sterling (approx. 40,000,000 U.S. dollars) to build. But it should save Kenya about GBP 5,00,000 sterling (approx. 13,000,000 U.S. dollars) in foreign exchange a year. Although it has the largest tree plantations south of the Sahara, Kenya must import about 60,000 tons of paper a year.
At first, the mill will produce 45,000 tons of paper a year. All types of paper will be produced, except for tissue and newsprint -- which may be manufactured at a later stage, depending on demand.
The Indian Minister for Industrial Development, Science and Technology, Mr. C. Subramaniam, visited the mill in its last stags of construction on Saturday (16 March). He was visiting Kenya for a short period, and took the opportunity to watch the development of kenyan workers under the supervision of Indian mill executives.