Olam Intl expands Africa presence thru Gabon ferts, palm JV

15 November 2010 06:18  [Source: ICIS news]

Palm plantationSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Agricultural commodities trader Olam International said on Monday it is diversifying into fertilizer and palm plantation business in Africa through its joint venture with the Gabon government as part of its expansion strategy.

In the briefing materials released by Olam on the Singapore Exchange on Monday, the company said that a $1.3bn (€949m) port-based fertilizer complex housing an ammonia plant with a 2,200 tonne/day capacity and another facility that has a 3,850 tonne/day urea capacity would be built in the western African country, under a 80:20 joint venture between Olam and the Gabon government.

Olam said this project would be among the lowest cost urea producers globally given a competitive advantage - access to low-cost feedstock. The company had signed a 25-year natural gas fixed price contract to ensure adequate supply of feedstock for the urea plant, it said.

Meanwhile, Olam said it would also develop palm plantations through a 70:30 partnership with the Gabon government, with an initial investment of $236m to cover 50,000 hectares under phase 1 of the 300,000-hectare project.

Palm planting at the site would start in early 2012 and targeted to be completed by 2016, with the plantations expected to have a 26m-tonne yield per hectare, Olam said.

Olam is a Singapore-based integrated global supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Pearl Bantillo
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