Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) has identified suitable land for expansion further east to the Aola region in East Guadalcanal.
The company as part of its long-term development plans surveyed about 8,000 to 10,000 hectares of land in the past months for the expansion of its oil palm plantation.
Its short-term goal is to expand to cover 1500 to 2000 hectares by the end of this year.
GPPOL General Manager Craig Gibsone yesterday said the short-term goal is to fill out current mill to capacity.
“So this is possible with the 1500-2000 hectares,” he said.
“But in the long- term, we will expand further down, passing the Aola point of Guadalcanal.
“After this we will need to secure at least 6000 hectares because this will require a new mill.
“Also we need to justify the capital outlay for the new mill,” Mr Gibsone told this paper.
He said the expansion plans are inclusive, covering both the company plantation and smallholder growers.
The GPPOL General Manager said the new development the company is embarking came after quite a long process to ensure that it is done in a sustainable manner as agreed upon by members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
He said the process is in keeping with international laws and included the carrying out of detailed studies to ensure the company is not clearing virgin or high value rainforest to avoid serious negative social and environmental impacts.
Mr Gibsone commended the overwhelming support the landowners continue to render to the company and its operation.
“The landowners are supportive of the company and its operation as they have seen the benefits and the positive impacts they have on their lives,” he said.
By TEDDY KAFO