Chinese investors are set to build the largest sugar producing factory in the country, around the Bui dam enclave in the Banda District of the Bono Region.
Mr Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Power Authority (BPA), the managers of the Bui Dam Hydro Power Generation Station (BGS) said the Authority had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese investors to build the factory.
Mr Dzamesi said the actual construction work on the factory would begin in June this year, and would be completed in 2024.
On completion, the factory would produce about 60,000 tonnes of sugar for export and domestic use.
Accordingly, the Authority had released about 13,000 acres of land to the Bui Sugar Limited, the investors’ company at Fawoman in the district, he explained, saying the company had already planted about 250 hectares of sugarcane to provide raw materials to feed the factory.
“In fact, under the MoU, the BPA is an equity holder,” Mr Dzamesi noted when he conducted Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister around the project site at Fawoman, as part of the Minister’s two-day working visit to the Bui Dam site.
Accompanied by some members of the Bono Regional Security Council as well as some Municipal and District Chief Executives in the region, Madam Owusu-Banahene was at the site to get herself abreast with the operations of the 400 megawatts hydro-electric power generation dam.
Mr Dzamesi explained the project had created jobs for about 500 people in the area, saying the factory would create more than 5,000 indirect jobs to the local people.
Describing the project as another great national asset, which would open up the area for rapid economic growth, Mr Dzamesi expressed appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Banda District Assembly and the local people for their support and cooperation.
He said that paved the way for construction to begin and thanked the traditional authorities in the area for their support and cooperation.
Mr Wet Hua, the Managing Director of the Bui Sugar Limited, said ploughing was still on-going for the company to cultivate more sugarcane to feed the factory.
He said the project had also constructed a dam and was building irrigation facilities to improve water supply and expand the sugarcane plantation.
Mr Hua lauded the relationship between the company and the BPA and the local people and expressed hope it would be strengthened for mutual benefit.
Madam Owusu-Banahene said she was highly impressed about the project, and entreated the company to endeavour to employ more of the locals, saying, that would put a sense of ownership in the minds of the local people.
She said culture and tradition reflected the identity of the people and, urged the Chinese workers to respect the culture and dignity of the locals to make their stay happy and comfortable in the enclave.
Mr Emmanuel Akoneh, the Banda District Chief Executive, said the area was among the poorest revenue generation districts in the country, saying the factory would, help to improve on its revenue mobilization.
He mentioned perennial bushfires and influx of nomadic Fulani herdsmen and their cattle as some of the challenges confronting the district.
Mr Akoneh expressed worry that the unscrupulous activities of the nomads who left their animals to graze and destroyed people’s farms and crops threatened the security of the district, hence, the need to tackle it in a more proactive manner.
He also called on the traditional authorities and all stakeholders in the district to support the Assembly to strictly enforce the anti-bushfire bye-laws to stem the recurring fire outbreaks which had become an annual ritual in the area.