Liberian palm plantation plans expansion Golden Veroleum Liberia is investing $30 million in a new mill, expected to increase employment in rural southeast



MONROVIA, Liberia (AA) – The Liberian palm plantation Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) plans expansion thanks to a $30 million investment in modern facilities.

The shipment of mill equipment valued at $30 million arrived at the Samuel A. Russ Port in Greenville on Dec. 3, according to a statement by the National Port Authority.

GVL, which  is owned by the U.S-based private equity investor Verdant Fund LP,  projects the construction of a palm oil processing plant in the southeastern region, a spokesman for the company told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

Liberia, in 2012 (latest available figures) produced about 44,000 tons of crude palm oil, and exports in the commodity were worth about $2 million. This is still a relatively small amount, and Liberia is ranked 57 among worldwide producers of palm oil Nigeria, for example, produces close to 1 million tons per year, according to a government report released in 2013.

Spokesman Stephen Binda told Anadolu Agency that the mini-mill will process 5 tons of palms per hour and, at full capacity, its main mill will be able to produce up to 80 tons per hour.

“This is a manifestation of our commitment towards ending rural poverty and boosting investment, employment and development opportunities in Liberia. We are confident of employing more Liberians in the future,” the spokesman said.

The government expects investment in the palm oil industry to create 81,000 jobs, largely in rural areas, in the coming years, according to the report.

The company which has about 4,000 employees since it began operation in Liberia in 2010, expected to add about 100 more employees already in the construction phase of the mill, the spokesman said. Production is set to start in 2017.

Products from the refined palm oil processing will be used for the making of lubricants, soap and lotions among other manufactured goods.

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