Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed commissioned Rai paper mill, formerly known as Pan African Paper mill.
The company located in Webuye, was bought by Rai Group of Companies at a cost of Kshs 900 million.
This will lead to a creation of more than 1,000 employment opportunities for the youth in the country and meeting local and regional demand.
“We expect the second line to create additional 1,000 employment opportunities,” said Mr Mohamed, insisting that the factory is fully operational.
“The management and the employees are committed to revival of this plant despite the fact that we found most machines in bad state,” Mr Jaswant Rai, the group chairman said.
“We had some quality problems but we have rectified all of them. The roof sheeting was completely damaged. We are removing asbestos and replacing with metal sheeting,” said Mr Naga Shankar, the factory manager early this year when one line out of four was operational.
Mr Shankar also said that there’s been a huge demand for papers from the neighbouring country Uganda, hence need for export expansion.
The mill is currently producing about 50-60 tonnes of brown paper from recycled paper used in the packaging industry.
“We will resume production of paper from wood upon completion of the other three lines,” said Mr Shankar.
He also reported that the company has been down for over nine years and lots of renovations are taking place.
The management says it expects to spend up to Sh6 billion in the next six years in an ambitious plan that will see Rai Paper become one of Africa’s largest millers.
According to Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, the paper mill will unlock the economic potential of the larger western Kenya region including creation of jobs. He assured the necessary support from the county.
The economy of western Kenya region suffered a major blow after the giant company was placed under receivership for almost a decade.
Tarlochan Limited, a subsidiary of Rai Group, took over the company following the signing of sale and purchase agreement between the company and receiver managers.