Wah Soeng Berhad, a Malaysian conglomerate, will invest $744 million over the next decade to an establish oil palm plantation in Republic of Congo, reports Reuters.
The estate, which will be run under subsidiary ATAMA Plantation, will cover 180,000 hectares near Yengo, a region of forest and open areas some 800 kilometers north of the capital Brazzaville. It will be the largest palm plantation in the Congo Basin.
Work on the project will commence next year and palm oil production is due to start in 2017, according to ATAMA president Leong King Ming. The project, which will include nine refineries, will produce 720,000 metric tons per year at its peak.
Wah Soeng’s move follows other foreign palm oil investments in Africa. Singapore-based Olam is developing a 130,000-ha oil palm plantation in Gabon, Malaysia’s Sime Darby has a 220,000-ha concession in Liberia, and U.S.-based Herakles Farms has started work on a 73,000-ha estate in Cameroon.