By CATHERINE RIUNGU
Four years ago, leading flower exporter Oserian Development Company embarked on an ambitious diversification strategy that will eventually grow into a fully fledged Industrial Park in Naivasha.
The diversification was entrusted to Oserian Two Lakes, the Park Developer, to help take the idea from a far reaching concept to one of realisation.
Their Master Plan encompasses a full spectrum of occupation from factories to logistic warehousing, to schools, hospitals, shops and housing to suit all budgets.
Within the 1650 acres set aside for commercial development of various types, three distinct areas have been earmarked – The Flower Business Park, the Business Park and the Industrial Park. The process to securing Special Economic Zone status is underway using the international development consultancy SystemiQ.
Early on it was clear the opportunity to create a Flower Business Park was the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ and initial focus upon getting this up and running has paid off with 5 tenants having already moved in.
The Flower Business Park is open to investors in the flower industry and associated businesses to lease land for greenhouses and offices to serve floriculture related operations. While the entire project is fashioned along all aspects of a modern Special Economic Zone, there is also an area designated for an Export Free Zone.
To ensure potential investors could be confident of Oserian’s commitment to the project it was necessary in 2015/16 for Oserian to consolidate its three large, but geographically separate, flower growing areas.
Today all Oserian’s flower growing activity is contained within a ring fenced area of some 300 hectares. The prime flat land, with existing infrastructure that has now been vacated is being turned over for use in the three new economic Parks of Two Lakes.
After the physical consolidation of the flower growing, Oserian’s next step involved the segmentation of the existing business and incorporation of distinct businesses functions deemed critical to Two Lakes’s offer of essential services to the potential tenants of the Flower Business Park.
Some departments evolved into new independent companies leaving the ‘old’ Oserian to concentrate only on rose production. These new businesses were the first tenants at the flower park.
The pack house
Transformed into Two Lakes Packing Services while responsibility for non-rose flower growing transferred into Oserian Flowers Limited. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) section is now a Joint Venture Company called Madumbi Kenya, while the marketing team migrated to Mavuno b.v. and Oserian’s large engineering department morphed into Oloidien Estate and Engineering Ltd.
Two Lakes Packing Services provides a ‘one stop shop’ for not just Oserian, but those tenants within the Flower Business Park that seek to avoid the administration associated with packing and exporting cut flowers.
Specialists at Packed At Source bouquets as well as high end roses, Two Lakes Packing are also strong advocates of the new packing system known as CargoLite – an innovative system that reduces labour, reduces wastage and in an era of increasing environmental consciousness, reduces Carbon Dioxide used to export our flowers.
Oserian Flowers is focused upon all non-rose crops and in its first year of operation has introduced two new additions – Hydrangea and Delphinium– to its already considerable stable of summer flowers. The Company’s Board are strong believers in Kaizen and devotees of performance driven remuneration – a ’win win’ for employer and employee alike.
As you will have read, things do not stand still at Oserian for very long, and in the past few weeks, Oserian Flowers Limited has acquired Two Lakes Packing Services in a move which has brought further operational efficiency and boosted competitiveness.
Considering the importance of IPM, Oserian partnered with Andermatt of Switzerland and South Africa’s Madumbi to create Madumbi Kenya, a firm that is producing dudus and other IPM solutions for pests and diseases control across the agricultural sector.
Andermatt is a global leader in developing bacteria and virus solutions for pest control and have, for instance, just found a solution for Fall Army Worm that is devastating our Country’s maize crops.
Oloidien Engineering & Estate Management Estate and Engineering Ltd (OE&E) on the other hand serves the engineering and building requirements of not just Oserian but all those within the Flower Business Park and the Industrial Park.
Spawned from something unlike any normal Farm’s in-house engineering workshop, it has capabilities that also see it heavily involved in the Power Sector and it as successfully delivered numerous large projects associated with geothermal generation.
Building on this background in power, OE&E as it is usually referred to, has expertise in Operating and Maintenance of large scale cool chain operations and is an Agent for Carrier, the US refrigeration firm. The latest addition to its portfolio is the manufacture of electric vehicles for agricultural use – something which Oserian has taken full advantage off with fuel reduction now at over 300,000 litres per year.
In the initial stages, and in support of the long term diversification plans, the Farm was subdivided and an Extension of Use obtained covering industrial, commercial and residential uses. The strategy has led to an expansion of amenities within the Company funded housing Estate: an upgrade to its hospital, additional classrooms being constructed at its schools and modernization of its social halls.
Today Oserian’s Estate is home to over 11, 000 people and it is envisaged that the Oserian population will surge to about 20,000 as the Industrial Park takes root.
Currently the Two Lakes Flower Park is home to 5 tenants – Dudutech, Select Rose Breeding, George Delbard Roses, Madumbi Kenya and Selecta. Negotiations are at various stages with four other tenants for whom Oserian’s Flower Business Park ‘pix and mix’ offering of a wide array of services along with its ability to provide geothermal heating and cheap electricity, are proving a strong combination to lure businesses in.
The expansion of vital infrastructure will entail the installation of grey water treatment plants, rainwater harvesting as well a sizeable expansion to the existing in-house power generation capacity. This year the Company aims at maintaining and enhancing the momentum accumulated since 2015 and, in conjunction with Premier Solar, Solarise and OE&E, Oserian has just installed its first 1MW solar system to complement its 3.2MW of geothermal power production. Further expansions are already planned which may include installation of a Hydro plant – meaning Oserian’s own Grid will harness three different forms of renewable energy.
One thing is for sure, Oserian is committed to only using power from renewable sources and this was recently recognized by lifting the Crown at this year’s Energy Management Awards.
Key to the success of Oserian Two Lakes is its ability to supply tenants, especially those within the Industrial Park, cheap and reliable power. 2019 has witnessed a surge in interest from businesses looking to move into the Industrial Park – and crucially over half the advanced discussions are with businesses looking to move into Kenya for the first time.
When the Oserian Industrial Park is fully occupied , it is estimated that an additional 20,000 jobs will be created contributing hugely to the Country’s Big 4 Development Agenda. Little wonder then that at both County and National level is well known and promoted as a flagship development project.
For more information contact,Oserian Two Lakes on,+firstname.lastname@example.org