- Plan is part of strategy to return to profitability by cutting the cost of production.
Williamson Tea Plc has resolved to start producing its own power in a bid to boost efficiency on its plantations, citing frequent outages on electricity supplied by State-controlled Kenya Power to its factories.
The publicly-traded agricultural firm says unrelenting power blackouts have raised operating costs at some of its tea processing plants, with Western Kenya-based Kaimosi factory being the hardest hit.
“The power supply failures from Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited have reached epic proportions.
“Kaimosi remains the worst hit but not the only victim,” Williamson chair Ezekiel Wanjama in the firm’s annual report for the year ended March 31.
“The non-delivery of power has forced our hand and during the next financial year to (March) 2020 we shall be considering investing in sustainable, but deliverable power of our own.”
If implemented, Williamson will be joining a raft of other companies which have largely turned to cheaper solar photovoltaic (PV) grid-tied system to supply power for internal use.
They include Kapa Oil Refineries, Oserian Flowers, Africa Logistics Properties, London Distillers, Garden City and Strathmore University.