Webuye Pan Paper set to re-open next month
Written by Rosemary Wachiye
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Pan paper factory in Webuye town is set to re-open for the fourth time in a spun of three years since its first closure in February 2009 now running as a business entity and not under revival terms as it was in its previous operations.
After a two months closure period since December 2011 on what the Team Leader of the revival task force Dr. Wafula Muliaro termed as necessary move for the management to address the constraints that were facing the mill at the time among them the lack of freedom to operate independently.
Dr.Muliaro explains that the key objective for the revival task force was to demonstrate that the equipment was still capable of carrying out production and to be able to operate the machines to produce goods that meet quality and are sellable.
“When the mill was revived under my tenure for 6 months it was to test the machines and prove that the factory was still viable to operate and when the mission was successful, we had to close it down to pave way for the next phase,” said Dr.Muliaro.
Through that the government which was the sole reviver of the mill would then be convinced to pump in cash knowing that the mill will be able to contribute to the economy of the country.
Dr.Muliaro reveals that the factory was running under constrained conditions and that the two months period during its stop of production; the government through the advice of the Attorney General has given the Ministry of Industrialization ago ahead to operate the factory.
Previously Pan Paper factory was under receivership of the Government amid its bid to revive it and pay off the debts owed to the long term and short term lenders.
“The Ministry of Industrialization under representation of the Permanent Secretary has made advance steps in consulting with stakeholders; the short term and long term lenders and the factory will be re-opened once the negotiations are through,” said Dr.Muliaro.
Dr.Muliaro states that once re-opened, the factory will operate in proper business mode, under new management with its own independent bank account and cleared off debts and settled pending legal matters.
He reports that in the next dispensation there would be changes from revival mode to full operation mode and he assures Kenyans that there would be no stopping once it starts working.
“The factory is going to have a new birth, old is gone and its now going to be a new organization once it starts operating under business mode,” said Dr.Muliaro.
He also reveals that his mission in the factory was to foresee the revival which he has completed successfully and urged the members of the management board in the press briefing to be ready to embrace change.
“Those who will be there in the next stage should cooperate since where they are headed to is more manageable than where the factory is coming from, we have now identified the key indicators and all that is left is to see to it that its objectives are achieved,” said Dr.Muliaro.
Previous at a published report on one of the dailies, the Attorney General had advice the government to pay off the long term lenders first but Dr.Muliaro explains the change of course as currently the AG has now advised the government to first settle the money owed to the short term lenders that is Sh.400 Million.
Dr.Muliaro also states that during its closure they managed to find market for the 1,800 metric tonnes of paper among the 3,000 metric tonnes that had been left pending in the warehouse of the mill due to lack of market.
At the moment he quotes the factory as having a market demand of 10,000 metric tonnes per month in Kenya alone and hence dismissed the worries that the products may lack market.
He defended the factory’s production mode as being viable even in the digital world stating that soon they will be able to do away with logs and start producing paper using biogas which requires less energy and hence curb on the high cost of power that has been encountered in the mill.