Golden Veroleum Liberia signed a Letter of Acceptance with Malaysia-based Modipalm Engineering Sdn Bhd for the construction of its Tarjuowon Palm Oil Mill and Greenville Bulking Station. The contract, worth upwards of 21 million USD, is expected to be completed by 2017 and will employ several hundred Liberians during construction and approximately 150 Liberians in industrial processing when in full operation.
Currently, GVL employs approximately 3,700 in the South East of the country. “What we want to do is continue that number upward as we grow with the help of the communities,” said GVL Spokesman Stephen Binda. “The mill and bulking station will certainly help with that and ensure Liberia will have its own processing capabilities, which in essence means that there are products made in Liberia by Liberians.”
When completed the mill will be used to process fresh fruit bunches, also known as FFB, typically within 24 hours of harvesting. Then the oil would be transported to the bulking station.
“This is a process that began for us a couple of years ago when we sent our first batch of Liberian engineers to Jakarta, Indonesia to train specifically in oil palm mill engineering. They returned and are now helping to run the company, and they will have an enormous task ahead of them with the mill. But they have stepped up to the challenge and we expect great things from them,” according to Binda.
Of the current GVL workforce, 64 Liberians are in various management positions, the mill and bulking station will increase that number. When fully operational the company expects to employ between 35,000 and 40,000.