Pan Paper Mills is back. The factory was the main driving force of the Webuye economy. This is as a result of Tarlochan Limited taking over the operations of the company after signing a sale and purchase agreement between the company and the receiver managers. Tarlochan Limited is a subsidiary of Rai Group of companies. This comes after 10 years since the company was placed under receivership.
“Pan Paper Mills produced their first paper in 10 years a few days ago. The reopening will bring back hundreds of jobs back to Webuye Town.”
-State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu
The iconic mark of Webuye region will shade its name and will thus be referred to as Rai Paper. The factory will have a production capacity of 80 tonnes of paper per day. In three months, it is the vision of the company to see this figure rise to 150 tonnes per day.
“The reopening of the company will awaken Western region’s massive economic potential and creating job opportunities.”
-Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka
It is said that Rai Group of companies closed the deal with a purchase price of Ks.900 million. This is a value that a number of leaders in the region are not happy with. According to them Pan Paper Mills was undervalued in the sale and purchase agreement. As such they want the deal reviewed.
“The handover process provides an opportunity for us to re-asses the plant and equipment. From our initial assessment, most of the critical machinery will require total replacement and technological upgrades to ensure that we can start operations within this calendar year.”
-Rai Group of Company Chairman Jaswant Rai
So far about 500 workers have already been employed in the miller. The number is expected to rise to around 1,500 or more once operations pick up. To get Pan Paper Mills back on its feet, Rai Group of companies will spend approximately Ksh.6 billion to rehabilitate and revive machines in the next 10 years.