By Alois Vinga
LISTED tea processing giant, Tanganda Tea Company has invested a total US$8 million in solar projects in a development that will cut off electricity costs for the company.
The development comes on the back of critical power outages which in some cases are running for between 16 to 20 hours per day adversely affecting business productivity timelines.
Briefing stakeholders at an annual general meeting this week, Tanganda chief executive officer, Timothy Fennell revealed details of the latest investment.
“We have invested US$8 million on three solar projects .To date, the company has installed a 1,8 MW solar plant at Ratelshoek Estate, a 1,4 MW solar plant at Jersey Estate and a 1,2 MW solar plant at Tingamira Estate,” he said.
Fennel said there are currently three smaller ones amid plans to roll out one every year in the next three years at an anticipated cost of US$4 million.
The company is expecting to make a saving of US$700 000 monthly through the measures.
This comes at a time when the tea processor is also pursuing a cross cutting export growth in the midst of intensified value addition efforts.
These efforts have been aimed at extracting maximum value from the firm’s products, a move which resonates with the local industrial strategy calling on companies to penetrate export markets and deepen linkages to mobilise foreign currency for internal use.
In the twelve months ended September 30 2022 ,bulk tea exports grew by 11% to 7 125 tonnes from the prior season’s 6 392 tonnes. This was despite tea production volumes of 8 670 tonnes being 6% lower than prior year’s 9 179 tonnes due to the dry weather patches experienced during the agricultural season.