Africa’s Biggest Sisal Producer Mull Moves Into Kenya

Sisal Plantation. Photo/Courtesy

REA Trading Ltd., the biggest investor in Africa’s largest sisal producer, is considering expanding into the energy industry.

The company, which is buying out the rest of REA Vipingo Plantations Ltd., plans to use waste from sisal to make methane that can generate electricity.

It may then sell that power into the country’s national grid, said Director Richard Robinow  “The problem we have today with the current business is its limit on its growth,” he said.

“It’s a good business, but it can only grow to a certain level.” Kenyan has a program to add 5,000 megawatts to Kenya’s current capacity of 1,664 megawatts by 2017.

REA Vipingo operates two sisal estates in Kenya that produce about 12,000 metric tons a year of the fiber, which is used to make rope and dartboards.

REA Trading, which owns 57 percent of REA Vipingo, was until March 26 in a dispute with Centum Investments Ltd.

Kenya’s biggest publicly traded investment group, about taking over the producer.

The two settled their disagreement, with Centum withdrawing its offer to buy the sisal company and acquiring 9,646 acres (3,904 hectares) of land in the coastal district of Vipingo as well as REA Vipingo’s subsidiary Vipingo Estates Ltd. for 2.1 billion shillings ($23 million).

Bloomberg Reports.

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