Petaling Jaya (June 4, 2013): Wah Seong Bhd plans to develop an agro-industrial complex in Congo with investments of US$744 million over the next ten years, a news report said.
The report, which was posted on Wah Seong's website, cited African nation's agriculture minister Rigobert Maboundou saying that the project includes a 180,000 ha palm plantation 800 km north of Congo's capital Brazzaville that will be the largest palm oil project, in the Congo basin.
The investment, the report said, will be undertaken through local firm Atama Plantations of which Wah Seong acquired a 51% share in 2012 for US$25 million.
It will also include an agro-industrial plant to process the palm oil, creating 20,000 jobs, the minister said.
Construction of the palm oil transformation units will begin in 2013 and production will kick off in 2017 said Atama's chief executive officer, Leong Kian Ming, said.
The economy of the Republic of the Congo, as the country is officially called, is largely dependent on hydrocarbons, with the oil sector accounting for about 85% of government revenue and 92% of exports.
A diversification towards palm oil could help the state to open alternative sources of income, economist say and also mention that there are large untapped resources such as gold, iron and phosphate, the report stated.