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Sony Sugar seeks Sh500 million for maintenance

Sony Sugar factory
A tractor delivers cane at Sony Sugar factory in Migori. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The management of struggling Migori-based sugar miller Sony says the firm requires at least Sh500 million for maintenance of its machines.

Sony Sugar acting managing director James Oluoch blamed the miller's low production on lack of routine maintenance of machines, which have not been serviced in the past five years.

Mr Oluoch said the company desperately needs close to Sh346 million to do thorough maintenance of the plant. He said the company had written to the Migori county government requesting Sh210 million for the repairs but they were yet to get a feedback.

“We are also seeking help from our key stakeholders to carry out maintenance in order to restore waning confidence of the farmers and community,” he added.

Sony has been riddled with a myriad of challenges ranging from frequent breakdown of its crusher, unpaid staff and farmers’ dues and and the recent closure of its bank accounts.

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Last week, Regional Commissioner James Kianda led a team from the Presidential Delivery Unit and local officials in a meeting with the company's management during which plans to resuscitate the ailing miller were discussed.

Mr Oluoch warned that the plant risks total collapse without maintenance.

The cost of cane production at the factory remains the highest compared to rival private companies in neighbouring counties. Sony produces a mere 200 tonnes, down from the 3,000 in its heyday.

Chemelil Sugar has also recently applied for “a soft loan” of Sh120 million from the National Treasury.

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