President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the collapsed Pan Paper Mills in Webuye will be revived in three months.
According to Uhuru, a strategic investor had purchased the plant’s assets and will be injecting a total of Sh6 billion ($60 million) in the multi-billion factory in the next few years.
“We are setting out the next major steps for revival. I thank the investor for the confidence he has shown in Kenya and the economic and structural reforms we are making to maintain and promote the private sector,” Uhuru said.
The investor, associated with several sugar industries, a plywood firm and an edible oil refinery in the country, is said to have purchased the firm for about Sh900 million, beating five other bidders.
Uhuru also said that reviving the pan paper will generate jobs for the locals, adding that priority will be given to former employees.
“The investment will yield close to 1,500 jobs for the people of Bungoma and Kenyans in the next three years. The good news is the investor has given us assurance that former employees of the company will be given priority for re-absorption when the mill starts operations.” he said.
Pan paper collapsed in 2009 and in an effort to revive the factory in 2010 the Government paid Sh1.2 billion to short-term lenders. The effort proved futile and the firm was closed two weeks after reopening.