Centum Investment Plc subsidiary Vipingo Development Limited (VDL) has offered insights into the ongoing construction of a nut processing factory worth over Ksh1 Billion in Vipingo, Kilifi. The factory will have a processing capacity of more than 6,000 tonnes of raw cashewnuts creating an opportunity for many farmers at the Coast who grow cashewnuts as a cash crop.
A consortium of international investors in the food processing and value addition sectors acquired development rights from VDL and are behind the project.
It is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs and spur the Kilifi county economy. At the moment, civil works have been completed and prefabricated go-downs are being set up.
As VDL Chief Executive Ken Mbae disclosed, modular construction techniques involving use of prefabricated modules or units are meant to speed up construction as they intend to have the plant operational in the first quarter of 2022.
“The use of modular construction technology means the project will be operational by quarter one of 2022 and have an immediate impact on the economy of Kilifi county and beyond,” he stated.
While the factory is expected to bring Coastal farmers on board to supply nuts, it will notably also be supplied by VDL’s own 200-acre cashewnut plantation. The move is meant to guarantee the minimum supply threshold to sustain an all-year operation.
Jobs at the plant will cut across various skill levels with opportunities for labourers, machine operators, mid-level and senior managers overseeing things such as logistics and operations.
The factory will be located in Vipingo’s manufacturing hub. Aside from the investors behind the nut processing factory, Mbae revealed, other manufacturing firms in LPG processing, water bottling and warehousing have also secured development rights from VDL.
He cited the development’s proximity to the Port of Mombasa as a major draw.
“This is possibly the best place to set up your manufacturing business in close proximity to the port. Investors will save on transport costs for imported raw materials, enabling them to sell finished products at a discount to competition,” Mbae noted.
The master-planned Vipingo Development by Centum which was once the sprawling 10,000-acre Rea Vipingo Sisal Plantation includes residential, commercial, industrial, hospitality, health care and school districts. Its residential offerings Awali and Palm Ridge estates have so far seen over 400 residents handed the keys to their new homes.