Construction of $200m palm oil production unit in Côte d’Ivoire underway

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Chinese company Hunan No.6 Engineering Co. has started work on a palm oil production unit in Côte d’Ivoire. According to Ecofin Agency, this project is a part of a partnership between Côte d’Ivoire and China that is expected to last 18 months. Once the factory is operating, 500 new employments should be created. The largest exporter of crude palm oil in Africa is Côte d’Ivoire. The nation that wants to strengthen its position urges private companies to increase their investment in the processing industry.

According to Lu Wenbin, general manager of the Chinese company, the Lôh-Djiboua unit is one of a total of 11 processing units worth US$200 million that his company plans to construct on Ivorian soil for the benefit of the oil palm and rubber industries. According to AIP, the new unit is based on a 22-hectare and will take up an area of 2.5 hectares.

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Capacity of the palm oil production unit in Côte d’Ivoire

The facility will be able to produce 100,000 tonnes of palm oil annually.  The project also entails the creation of fresh oil palm plantations and the management of planters. The investment was made at a time when reputed market research firm ReportLinker estimated that Ivorian palm oil consumption will rise by 2% annually to 323,000 metric tons by 2026. Additionally, Ivory Coast demand has increased by 0.6% annually since 2017. And the nation is projected to be ranked 12th in the globe in 2021.

A total of 16 large oil mills and a number of other small and medium-sized oil mills in Côte d’Ivoire are responsible for processing palm nuts. According to USDA data from 2022, these facilities have a combined processing capacity of 800 tons of palms per hour. The need for palm oil in West-Africa has given priority to local production to lessen reliance on imports from Asia.