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Sh20bn Bidco Industrial Park a game-changer in manufacturing

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on July 25th presided over the launch of Bidco Industrial Park in Ruiru, Kiambu County, describing the project as part of ongoing government efforts to expand manufacturing. Speaking at the event, he said the government is rolling out a 30% electricity cost reduction plan to be implemented through a rebate system.

The Bidco Industrial Park will host the company’s beverage and food processing factory. The ceremony was also attended by Deputy President Dr William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who called off the boycott on Bidco products he initiated after the 2017 presidential elections.

The manufacturing sector, a crucial component of the Big 4 Agenda, holds the key to the creation of jobs for the youth. The new factory has created 1,000 direct and 5,000 indirect jobs throughout the Bidco distribution chain.

Through contract farming, Bidco Group has engaged 35,000 farmers across Kenya to supply them with soya and sunflower.  “This, in essence is what we are trying to achieve as a nation,” the president said, “a manufacturing sector that links with other productive sectors of the economy.”

Bidco Africa Chairman Vimal Shah said the Sh20 billion ultra-modern complex is part of the company’s expansion plans and will host its beverage and food processing factories.

One of the key features of the industrial park is the ultra-modern centralized distribution centre of 12,000 square metres, which will serve the entire production outlay with the capacity to hold 12,000 metric tonnes of goods.

Bidco Africa is East Africa’s largest fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer.

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Founded in 1985 by Bhimji Depar Shah and his two sons Vimal Shah and Tarun Shah, Bidco Africa is the market leader in the edible oils and fats categories in Kenya. Bidco Africa also manufactures hygiene and personal care products, including bar soaps and detergents.

“Bidco Africa continues to invest locally bringing with it a wave of optimism and prosperity, creating employment and opportunities for the youth in Kenya through,” Mr Vimal said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta samples Bidco group’s products which includes noodles and juices after launching the industrial park. Photo / Bidco

The Bidco Industrial Park (BIP) is spread over 80.7 Acres of the industrial land with 20% of its land utilized for the construction of existing manufacturing plants.

The total investment committed to develop the site fully is estimated at $300 million (Ksh30 billion) out of which $100 million (Ksh10 billion) has already been spent.

BIP’s technological outlay comprises a self-contained and sustainable model of operations, which include effluent treatment plant with a capacity of 550,000 liters per day; boilers with capacities of 480 tonnes per day to supply steam; water filtration plant for 90,000 liters per hour; water storage tanks with a total capacity of 9.5 million liters and a 66KV power sub-station to supply 7.5 megawatts of power to the facility.

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Linnah Taliah
Linnah Taliah
Linnah Taliah is a journalism student at St Paul's University. She is on attachment at Business Today.
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