Pan Paper mills in Webuye, Kenya, shut down Jan. 18 after its electricity was cut off, affecting more than 1,000 workers; company's managing director says site will reopen once power is restored

LOS ANGELES , January 19, 2012 () – The Pan Paper mills in Webuye, Kenya, shut down on Jan. 18 after its electricity was cut off following an unpaid, overdue power bill, Daily Nation reported on the same day.

The closure affected more than 1,000 employees until further notice, and according to Managing Director Muliaro Wafula, operations will continue once power is brought back.

Muliaro said that paper demand was high, but Industrialisation permanent secretary Karanja Kibicho said that there was a weak market for the factory’s products.

Muliaro said that the site was affected by the receivership status as revenue is being deposited at the Central Bank and the site is selling “under the revival mode.” He added that three production lines can’t be opened due to the site making more products than it can sell.

He said that the company must operate outside of receivership to generate a profit, he said.

Kenya spent roughly 1.6 billion Kenyan shilling (US$18.7 million) last year on the country’s only paper mill after it had been shut down for two years.

The primary source of this article is Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 18, 2012.

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