A group of Malaysian investors has teamed up with the Filipinos to set up a RM28 million (€7.5m) palm oil mill in the central Philippine province of Bohol, according to a report in the New Straits Times.
The joint venture company Philippine Agriculture Land Development and Mill, registered with the Philippine Board of Investment (BOI), has started operations and will produce 29,520 tonnes of crude palm oil and 5,760 tonnes of palm kernel every year.
According to a Philippine government official, the palm kernel will be further processed to extract palm kernel oil.
"By 2012, the mill should be producing at least 87 per cent of its intended capacity," the official told Business Times.
The company will sell its output to the domestic market as well as refineries in Europe, Malaysia, China and India. The official also said that the BOI had granted the project non-pioneer status, which will make it eligible for tax breaks such as exemption from income tax for four years. The Malaysian partners in the joint venture are mostly individuals with an aggregate ownership of just 0.6 per cent of the total project. The Filipinos own the remaining 99.4 per cent.
Earlier reports had said that prospects were brighter for the palm oil industry on the island of Cebu, as private investors flexed their economic muscles to augment the Philippine government's food security programme in the countryside.
Efforts in developing the once-criticised oil palm plantation project in Bohol were given a boost when the tropical plant, which has some edible use, started growing in several interior towns of the province. According to the official, the local media were impressed with the high earnings potential of the palm oil industry and the project, considering that its proponent, Palm, is locally based and led by banker Richard T. Uy, First Consolidated Bank board chairman.
In Carmen town, particularly in Barangays Matin-ao, La Victoria, Calatrava and Nueva Fuerza, over 300ha have been planted with oil palm. It is understood that 14 potential areas have been cultivated. The multi-million-peso project is integrated with a component of oil mill facility in the northeastern part of the province. The project is targeting 5,000ha of plantations in 11 towns to support the viability of the proposed palm oil mill. The ideal target is some 15,000ha in the towns of Talibon, Trinidad, San Miguel, Getafe, Buenavista, Danao, Dagohoy, Ubay, Sagbayan, Inabanga and Alicia, all in Bohol.