Monday, December 16, 2013


Palm Oil since its inception in Papua New Guinea 45 years ago since 1967, has played a major role in the development and progress of many individuals, families, rural communities and has contributed significantly to the growth of the national Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and as estimated in the next 5 to 10 years it will also contribute to the K8 Billion palm oil export value as a big player in the Agri-Industry business sector and is the second largest employer to the government of PNG with the potential to alleviate national rural poverty. The Sigitu/Mukus palm oil project development is another of Rimbunan Hijau’s biggest investments in the country. The project currently employs 1000 staff and at the peak of the operation the staff strength will see about 3300 and the company has planned to upgrade the health and education facilities in the region. The palm oil project involves only about 38, 000 hectares and it is a 30 year cycle project with various multi-million processing factories being built. This legitimate commercial activity will contribute significantly to the livelihood of the ordinary Papua New Guineans from the said area that have been neglected for so many years and will sustainably contribute to the national revenue when it is fully operational. The majority of the landowners are in support of the project and few NGO driven groups are engaging in destructive activities in direct contravention of the wishes of the majority of landowners for development. This Sigitu/Mukus Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) palm oil project namely Ralopal concession issue was previously taken up by an NGO Group by way of litigation and the matter was conclusively decided by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea in favor of the majority of landowners and Gilford Limited Palm Oil Project. As of October 2013 for the Drina and Rano camps in the project area 210km was constructed as the main road of which 70km was graveled, 330km as field roads for access of plantation works. In addition a total of 1,723 log culverts were constructed on the main roads and the plantation field roads and 765 units of log bridges on the main roads and plantation field roads. All the seedlings were ordered from DAMI Research Center, New Britain palm Oil in Kimbe which cost a total of USD 1,0505,500 with the 1st order: USD 0.70 per seed x 1,215,000 seeds = USD 850,500.00 and 2nd order: USD 0.80 per seed x 250,000 seeds = USD 200,000.00 which is equivalent K 2,997,146.93. Total purchased seeds: 1,465,000 seeds, Total seedlings in nursery: 1,068,681 seedlings, Total planted area: 3,800 ha (372,966 oil palm stands).
It is estimated that over the life of the total investment will more that K700 million including 2 oil palm processing facilities with a capacity of 180 tones per hour which will be completed by mid-2016. The project will contribute more than K28 million to the local communities in premiums and royalties and will also inject more than K33 million per year directly into the economy of East New Britain which it currently provides internship for 16 students from the area at its plantation division. The land owners will benefit through land rental of which more that K9 million in the first 15 years and K 13 million in the second 15 years with log royalties and premiums more than K30 million in the first 15 years. In addition to the benefits the Government benefits will be log export duty of more than K30 million in the first 15 years and corporate tax is estimated to be more than K671 million in the first 15 years and more than k1.1 billion the next 15 years. Gilford Limited has joint the PNG malaria Initiative IPIMI) to eradicate malaria in its project area and set up a private public partnership with East New Britain Provincial Government to help eradicate malaria in the province as part of its corporate social responsibility.