Rai Paper Mill to start full production in 3 years

By Ronald Owili

Rai Paper Mill formerly known as Pan Paper Mills is targeting to return to full production capacity within the next three years.

The firm is currently producing 50-60 tons of paper daily with repair and maintenance works delaying an increase in production that was envisaged in December last year.

Rai Paper Mill has spent 24 million shillings since last year to rehabilitate the old structures.

High up the towering chimneys of Pan African paper mills, now known as Rai Paper, faint black smoke bellows discretely. Perhaps a sign of good fortunes that lie ahead and Webuye residents are hopeful once more.

But, dilapidated state of infrastructure at the once largest paper mill in East Africa shows why the current owner, Rai Group still has a huge task ahead before hitting full capacity of at least 2,000 tones of paper daily.

Rai acquired the firm at a cost of 900 million shillings last year, and plans to invest a further 6 billion shillings over the next three years. Already, 24 million shillings has been spent in putting up new roofing, paying water and electricity.

Rai currently uses recycled paper on one line, with plans to bring the other three lines to operation in the next two years. This will expand capacity to process wood.

The firm currently has 400 former employees and another 225 casual laborers. But they are still waiting for three month gratuity payment as promised by the head of state during the official opening of Rai Paper last December.

Rai is tipped to bring Webuye town back to its glorious years when it was a major commercial town in Bungoma County.