The idea to build the sugar factory was conceived around 1964. The bulk of the raw material, cane, was to be supplied by the out growers in order to uplift the standards of the rural communities. An initial feasibility study was carried out, around 1968, it was confirmed that the Kinyara site was suitable for a sugar project. Uganda Government was to finance the project 100%; management was to be provided by Mehta group which had an operational sugar factory at Lugazi and machinery was to be supplied by Walchandnagar Industries Limited of India.
A company named National Sugar Works ( Kinyala) Limited was registered .Staff recruitment started in 1970, and some staff were sent for professional training in sugar technology to India in 1971. Amin's declaration of the so called " Economic War " in August 1972 disrupted the development of the project as the Asian managers had to leave abruptly and National Sugar Works (Kinyala) Limited was to be managed by civil servants mainly Agriculturalists with no experience in the sugar industry at all. The project got considerably delayed and managed to start with lots of problems such as under-funding, labour shortage due to low wages among others but eventually was commissioned into production by mid-1976.
Later mismanagement of the company and political wars led to flight of most of trained staff until it eventually was forced to halt production in 1984. During the eight years of operation, a total of 12,354 tonnes of sugar was produced.
With technical assistance from Booker Tate Limited, cane development started around 1988. Booker Tate Limited was appointed to manage the new company Kinyara Sugar Works Limited which succeeded the old National Sugar Works (Kinyala) Limited around 1992. A consortium of financiers consisting of: Uganda Government, Saudi Fund, Kuwaiti Fund, Islamic Development Bank, OPEC Fund, P.T.A Bank, East African Development Bank, Uganda Development Bank, Exim Bank of USA and BADEA were mobilised to pledge the financing of the rehabilitation of the project worth about US $ 52.4 million.
The mill was re-commissioned by H.E. President Y.K. Museveni as Kinyara Sugar Works Limited in April 1996 and managed by Booker Tate Limited upto 2006. It was then privatized in 2006 and rebranded Kinyara Sugar Limited (KSL).
Kinyara Sugar Limited (KSL) is the second largest sugar producer in Uganda with 30% of the market share. Voted among East Africa’s Super brands in 2008 and 2009, Kinyara Sugar is the best quality sugar on the Ugandan market and is certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).Kinyara Sugar has also been awarded the “People’s Choice Awards” for best sugar on the market.
Kinyara Sugar Limited (KSL) has an installed crushing capacity of 9000 tonnes of sugarcane per day.
Kinyara Sugar Limited (KSL) generates electricity for its own use and also sells to the national grid. Electricity generation increased from 1.8MW per hour in 2006 to 14.5MW per hour today, contributing over 4MW to the national grid. KSL is among the top taxpayers in Uganda having paid USD$19.90M in taxes in 2011. The company employs over 6,000 people supporting approximately 30,000 families and auxiliary business.