In East Africa, three sugar companies in Kenya are seeking to generate 18MW of power to alleviate the pressures felt on their operational costs ahead of the market place opening to other entrants in 2017, The Daily Nation reported.

The three firms include, Butali Sugar Mills, South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony), and Muhoroni Sugar Company, who according to lcoal media have all published notices of plans to apply for electricity generation licenses from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Bagasse: sugar firms to acquire license

Jane Odhiambo, managing director of Sony Sugar said on Monday: “The purpose for which the license is required is to generate 4MW of electricity to be used in cane milling and sugar processing plant.”

Muhoroni Sugar put forward its plan to generate 3MW of power for use during its factory operations.

[quote]This proposal was shortly followed by Butali Sugar, who applied for a license to generate 11MW for self-consumption.

According to the Daily Nation, companies such as Mumias, Chemelil, Kibos Sugar and Kwale International, have already developed their own energy sources to power their operations.

Benefits of bagasse

“The internally generated electricity from bagasse, a by-product of cane, could boost the fortunes of the sugar millers who face stiffer competition when special safeguards on sugar imports from the regional trade bloc Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) are lifted in early 2017,” The Daily Nation stated.

The millers can further boost their revenue through supplying any excess power to the national electricity grid.

East Africa on the sugarcane band wagon

Earlier this year, Uganda’s Mayuge Sugar Industries announced that it will soon commence construction of a $63.6 million sugarcane waste power generation plant.

This sugar-waste power plant is estimated to generate 23MW on completion, which is said to be 26% of the country’s currently installed capacity.

According to the company’s general manager, Kanu Patel, to generate the above-mentioned amount of power, the firm requires an estimated 10,000 tonnes of sugarcane on a daily basis.