Monday, February 18, 2008

[PBN] PNG oil palm project to begin in East Sepik


By Gabriel Fito
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 12, 2008) - Work on
the proposed oil palm project in East Sepik is expected to begin within
the next six months.
This followed the successful negotiations between the Turubu landowners
and representatives from the National Oil Palm Industry Corp (NOPIC)
board at Tumeru village last week.

NOPIC board director Willie Nilmo told the villagers at the meeting last
Monday that all paper works between his office and the landowner company
are now in place and they are only waiting for the Government to give
them the blessing for work to start.

Mr. Nilmo, who is also the general secretary of the landowner company
Limawo Holdings Ltd, said a number of potential developers have
approached them. However, they have yet to decide on whom to choose, he
said. "It is an impact project and we want to be careful who will
develop it because such project would always require developers to build
roads, hospitals, schools and other services to compliment its
operations," Nilmo said.

He said the project is expected to cover the entire Sepik plain with a
land area of more than 136,000ha. It is anticipated that after Sepik
plain, the project would eventually cover parts of Sandaun.

Nilmo said other Sepiks can always support the project by acquiring
shares from the company. Those who purchased shares would later be
considered to settle there on portion of land not exceeding six
hectares, a practice similar to one offered to settlers in West
New Britain province.

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