JKUAT in association with Ndarugu Metropolis team have commenced talks with Agro-Project Group and Hennecke companies to put up a Sandwich panel factory at the special economic zone, Ndarugu, Juja.
The meeting held July 10, 2019, was convened to help the University fraternity to understand the sandwich panel production process and how they would work with the two companies to develop a sandwich processing plant at Ndarugu.
Speaking during the meeting, Ndarugu Metropolis, Chairman, Francis Michuki, said the factory would be used to produce panels required by Agro-Projects Group to build industrial buildings including cold storage facilities and food processing factories in order to address the broader demand for panels in East Africa.
“Once the factory is setup and becomes fully functional, we will be able to put up industrial structures that are durable; fire resistant and heat insulated, while also producing panels for other commercial purposes in the long run,” he asserted.
Agro-Projects Group, President, Mr. Daniel Dajewski while sensitizing the participants on the Sandwich panel’s advantages, explained that the panels, which have been used in Eastern Europe for many years, would solve many challenges that face Kenyan industries such as durability, mobility and efficiency and construction lightness for their warehouses citing its strength and lightness that has made it popular and widespread.
“This product has a great future in terms of smoothening industrial processes while guaranteeing the structures put up are able to withstand the harsh conditions over time,” he opined.
Hennecke’s Sales Director, Mr. Andreas Fischer taking the participants through the Sandwich panel processes, said his company, based in Sankt, Augustin, Germany, would provide the requisite expertise to train personnel from JKUAT for them to effectively run the factory’s processes.
“This is a new technology in Kenya, so proper, intensive induction and training is imperative,” he affirmed.
The Chairman, Department of Landscape and Environmental Science, Prof. John Mukundi welcomed the the factory project, which he observed, once in place, would expose JKUAT staff and students especially Bio-systems Engineering students to automated systems, thus helping them to be in tandem with new computer and programming systems available, as well as acquiring new knowledge on sandwich panel processes.
“Architectural students will get to interact with designs for the warehouses and cold rooms to be constructed, invoking their creative capabilities,” he averred.
JKUAT has partnered with the Ndarugu Metropolis to establish a state of the art development project that will comprise of a 70 acre fresh produce wholesale market; a 345 acre Special Economic Zone for value addition of agricultural and industrial raw material and a 160 acre Student City that will accommodate 20,000 students.
The meeting was attended by the Chair Department of Architecture, Arch. Hashim Nadi, Dr. Susan Kibue and Director Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Centre (SMARTEC) Eng. Charles K. Kabubo.