Companies

Nzoia Sugar roars back to life after repairs

Nzoia

Trucks deliver cane to the Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County. FILE PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

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Summary

  • A fire caused by a hot steam pipe ignited bagasse at the Mill Turbine No. 2.
  • The extent of the damage is estimated to be Sh12 million.

Repairs at Nzoia Sugar Company following a fire incident last Thursday evening are almost done with factory expected to resume operations on Wednesday.

In a statement, the firm’s managing director Wanjala Makokha said the fire was caused by a hot steam pipe, which ignited bagasse at the Mill Turbine No. 2.

“It then spread through the electric cables affecting Mill Turbine No. 3 and the bagasse rubber conveyor belt,” he said.

The mill area is the final stage where they extract the juice from the cane chippings. This is the stage where bagasse is separated from the cane and is usually very hot. The repairs of the affected areas began on Saturday.

“We would like to assure our stakeholders that our Engineers have put all the necessary measures in place. The repairs of the affected areas began on Saturday and we expect to resume operations on Wednesday,” said the managing director. The extent of the damage is estimated to be Sh12 million since the incident happened at the factory’s main milling plant.

“The extent of the damage is estimated to be Sh12 million. We are however thankful that out of the incident, we did report any injuries or fatalities,” the MD added.

The fire was contained by firefighters from the factory and the county government of Bungoma.

Meanwhile, farmers contracted to deliver cane to the factory have petitioned authorities to start investigations into the fire incident.

Led by Nzoia Sugar Out Growers Company (Noco) chairman Christopher Sifuna, the farmers said they cannot continue supplying their cane to a factory that is faced with a myriad of challenges that they are not aware of.