An investor has expressed interest to venture into biodiesel production from palm oil in Luapula Province next year.
BIOMAX Company Limited is willing to invest over US $50 million (50 million United States Dollars) for the establishment of a biodiesel processing plant in Nchelenge district.
The company would set up a processing plant in the district for initial processing of crude palm oil after procurement of oil palm from local farmers.
Luapula Province Acting Permanent Secretary, Clement Siame, disclosed this to ZANIS in Mansa.
Mr Siame explanied that once processed at first stage at the plant in Nchelenge, the crude palm oil would be taken to Ndola for refining where it would be processed into biodiesel which would be distributed to a named oil marketing company.
He revealed that BIOMAX had set up a processing plant in Ndola at the total cost of US $30 (30 million United States Dollars) to refine the crude palm oil from Luapula Province into biodiesel.
He said another company, Gurock Ropes, has expressed interest in investing in the plantation of palm oil in Luapula Province.
The acting PS said Gurock Ropes had the capacity to refine edible oils such as cooking oil and other products that came from palm oil.
Mr. Siame said that once the two companies start operating they would create employment and strengthen the local palm oil farmers in the province.
Many farmers are engaged in palm oil farming on an out grower basis.
About three years ago, government initiated the palm oil farming project in Luapula Province after it procured thousands of palm oil seedlings from Costarica to support local farmers’ out grower schemes in Nchelenge, Mwense and Kawambwa districts.
This was from a realization that Luapula Province had suitable conditions for palm oil production and that the industry could become one of the major industries to contribute to the economic well-being of the country.