Agriculture firm Williamson Tea Plc has decried the inconsistencies in the supply of electricity by Kenya Power which they say has crippled its tea growing business. The firm added that in order to overturn high operation costs, they will have to generate their own power to improve efficiency at its factories.
According to Williamson Tea in its annual report for the year ended March 21, the erratic power supply has mostly affected operations at its Western Kenya based Kaimosi factory but it has similarly affected operations across all its factories.
“The power supply failures from Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited have reached epic proportions. Kaimosi remains the worst hit but not the only victim. The non-delivery of power has forced our hand and during the next financial year, -March 2020- we shall be considering investing in sustainable, but deliverable power of our own.” Williamson Chair Ezekiel Wanjama said in the firm’s annual report for the year ended March 31.
The Williamson Tea Chair similarly implied that the firm will consider reducing its administrative costs at its Nairobi outlet in a move that could spell job termination for multiple workers.
“In addition to implementation of effective automation, we are mindful of that the costs we carry must add value to the business. The cornerstone to the business is our tea, our factories and manufactured output. If it is necessary to reduce costs in Nairobi, we shall act as required in order to ensure long-term prosperity to the business that we operate,” Mr Wanjama said in the report.
If the plan by the tea growing company is enacted successfully, the brand will join other companies such as Kapa Oil Refineries, Oserian Flowers, Africa Logistics Properties and London Distillers who have turned to affordable solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to generate power for in house use in an effort to cut down on costs of production.