Locals enjoying benefits from oil palm project


ALMOST 4000 locals in Pomio district, East New Britain, are employed under the integrated rural development project, with almost K50 million in wages already paid out, an official says.
RH Group of Companies executive director Ivan Lu revealed that at the opening of the new district office complex in Palmalmal, Pomio on Tuesday.
He said RH’s project, operated by its subsidiary Gilford Ltd in a joint venture with landowner company Memalo Holdings, has seen landowners receive significant benefits from the project in West Pomio.
He said landowners had received almost royalties and levy payments, and that was just the beginning.
“The project has, so far, contributed K100 million to the State in export duty, forest management levies, local level government levies and environment levies and an additional of K1 billion will flow directly into the local community throughout the project.”
He said many others had benefited from the economic opportunities created by the project.
“As part of this project, we have built more than 1000km of roads, bridges, culverts, jetties, aid posts, schools and church buildings,” he said.
“Infrastructure translates to K75 million and this amount will increase when more permanent bridges and other infrastructure are built in the next few years.
“We are working with the provincial government to connect roads to many communities.”
Lu said Gilford had planted more than 14,000 hectares of oil palm, built oil palm mill with a capacity of 60 tons per hour, seaport, airstrip and was already transporting oil palm to the wharf.
“We will build a second processing mill in the next two years.”

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