Marape pleased with company’s expansion in SI


PRIME Minister James Marape has commended Papua New Guinean company New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL) for the work it is doing in the Solomon Islands.
Marape said this after meeting management and staff, and visiting facilities at NBPOL’s Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd (GPPOL) outside Honiara on Friday.
GPPOL, which used NBPOL management and expertise from West New Britain to start off, is now one of the biggest export revenue earners for Solomon Islands.
It is also allowing 20 per cent landowner participation in the business, something that Marape applauded, saying it should set the benchmark for other PNG companies wanting to invest in the Solomon Islands.
Children of employees, waving PNG flags along the roadside, welcomed PM Marape to GPPOL on Friday.
“We want to allow for this sort of business to grow (in Solomon Islands),” PM Marape told GPPOL management and staff.
“I am happy about the way in which this company has allowed for local participation, SME involvement, even locals holding equity in the business.
“It’s a good model which is happening.”
GPPOL general-manager Craig Gibsone said the company was the Solomon Islands’ operation of NBPOL.
“We’re a lot smaller than New Britain Palm Oil,” he said.
“It’s 7,000 hectares, with just under 7,000 (ha) is the estate and the smallholders 7,00 (ha).”