Transmara Sugar Company plans to produce 25 megawatt (MW) of electricity at its Kilgoris factory for which it is negotiating approval to generate and supply with regulators.
The miller, a subsidiary of Mauritian sugar producer Alteo, plans to invest Sh4.7 billion ($45 million) in the bagasse — the crushed cane stalks left after the sugar is extracted — plant.
Mr Bhargava said the company plans to consume about 8MW of the electricity and sell the rest, about 17MW, to power distributor Kenya Power.
“Our expression of interest for development of the biomass power plant has been approved by Ministry of Energy,” Mr Bhargava said.
Bagasse is used by most millers to power boilers that produce steam under high pressure. The steam is used to power turbo-alternators that produce electricity much like those found in hydroelectric power plants.
Transmara will join troubled Mumias Sugar Company among other millers that use sugar cane waste to produce own electricity.
With energy content similar to wood at 450 kilowatt hours per tonne compared to 750kwh for coal, bagasse has huge potential, according to experts.
Transmara produced about 74,829 tonnes of raw sugar in the year to December.
Its revenues jumped 58.68 percent last year to Sh5.52 billion from Sh3.48 billion a year earlier.
April 22, 2020