Rivatex bets on upgrade to generate 10,000 jobs

Rivatex factory in Eldoret. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Rivatex factory in Eldoret. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Eldoret-based Rift Valley Textile Mills (Rivatex) East Africa has pumped Sh400 million to upgrade its spinning and weaving mill to be at par with global textile trends.

The money is part of the Sh3.016 billion that the company received as grant from the Indian government for technology transfer and purchase of new machines.

The upgrade, to be done by the Eldoret-based Shiv Construction Company, is set to last four years.

“Apart from renovating the spinning and weaving department, the exercise will involve upgrading of the administration block and improving infrastructure within the factory,” said Dilip Suthar, Shiv company director yesterday during the ground-breaking of the new spinning and weaving section.

He said the modernisation of the two departments would create 10,000 new jobs as it targets to produce textile to meet the local and foreign markets.

The new Rivatex managing director Thomas Kipkurgat said the company has partnered with the Bura Irrigation Scheme to increase the supply of raw materials for the smooth operation of the firm.

“We are currently producing an average of 10,000 bales against capacity of 70,000 bales annually which is has impacted negatively on our operational costs,” said Prof Kipkurgat.

He said the company produces an average of 10,000 bales against capacity of 70,000 bales annually.

“Several bales of cotton from the Bura Irrigation Scheme will be delivered to the factory before the end of the month to bolster our stock,” said Prof Kipkurgat.

The textile firm was bought by Moi University for Sh205 million after it was placed under receivership more than 10 years ago.

The company used to produce 5.73 metres of fabric before it was placed under receivership in 2000 following massive administration and financial mismanagement.

The fabric consisted of 5.5 million metres of dyed cotton, 7.7 million metres of printed cotton, 1.17 and 0.55 million metres of dyed and printed polyester viscose respectively.

In the new revival deal, Indian firm, Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW) Limited will supply textile machine for upgrading of the factory.

Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Suchitra Durai said the funds will enable Rivatex to expand its productivity.

The financial support follows a visit by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July last year where the agreement was signed between the EXIM Bank of India and the national treasury.