Presco's Investment in Nigeria Hits $1bn

by Research 21. April 2015 08:26

he investment injected into the Nigeria economy by Presco Oil Palm plc in the past one decade has risen beyond $1 billion, THISDAY has learnt.

With the company bringing in a minimum of $100 million investment into the country annually for the past ten years, the companies total investment in the country has risen over a billion dollars during the period.


Chairman of the company, Mr. Pierre Vandebeeck, explained that the investments  included procuring high quality state-of-the-art ‎equipments, automated steam turbines and a biogas plant  for power generation, oil palm processing mills, refineries  and plants and machineries

Vandebeeck in an interview with THISDAY, said the company is going forward by building a new refinery and oil mill that would gulp another $30 million to boost oil palm production in Nigeria

In his words: "I have not done the feasibility study yet but the cost estimate for the oil mill  is about $20 million and the refinery is $10 million summing up to a $30 million investment. A hectare of new plantation is about $6000 so multiply that to know how much we are investing every year. We are not stopping. We are like a vehicle driving very fast  all the time, although I do say should we  slow down a bit but there are so many opportunities that come up that we do not want to miss and therefore you are more or less pushed to continue investing. ‎"

Every year, the company cultivates thousands of hectare of land on average along with initiatives in alternative electricity generation investments, oil palm processing and refining among others all keeping investments flowing into the country from firm.

Meanwhile,  the company also said it has opened a new chapter  in its history, through the appointment of its first Nigerian Managing Director, Mr. Felix Nwabuko, to guide the company to success in its goal of remaining the most innovative and reliable operator in the sector globally.

 

Nwabuko, with vast experience spanning about three decades, in KPMG, Siat Group, University College, London among others is the new man to drive the company towards its set objectives.

Also, the Presco chairman, said the company has just began a new chapter by  acquiring  a biotechnology company in Belgium to produce high performing planting materials to achieve greater and quality yields.

 

"We are the only company in this industry in the world that has succeeded  in cloning rubber trees. We started two years ago and will be planting our first cloned rubber trees in Ivory Coast and Ghana because we believe through this system we will be increasing the rubber yields by about 30 per cent per hectares by 2 tonnes to 3 tonnes, but I believe it will be more‎," he said

He noted that for the past  ten years, Presco has being investing in what he described as a genetic block of oil palm having over 200 different crosses ‎and varieties from all over the world, saying that the company will propagate and make it available to anyone willing to pay the price.

 

"We have the first result for this and five years after planting, we added 20,000,000 per hectares with an extraction rate of 29 per cent and this means we are doubling the oil yields per hectare of what is coming now.‎ We are doing the same thing ‎for cocoa because personally I believe in three crops which are  rubbber, oil palm and cocoa. We are going to produce high performing clones that are disease resistant, he said.


He pointed out that the investment which is recurrent and ‎gulping a lot of resources is a project not only for the company but  for farmers to use for growing high quality yields in their various farms across the country.

 

‎"This is an investment that is recurrent and gulping a lot of money. We have the best scientist working on this project. We are  making this project  available not for our plantations. I consider our company as a commercial entity where we have our presence  in different parts of the continent, growing platforms to produce top planting materials for whoever wants to buy it," he said.


He stated that this year, the company is aiming to achieve a profit margin of about 40 per cent with a  turnover of about N4 billion.

We are looking at 40 per cent. God willing we are looking at a turnover of about N4 billion this year‎. For 2014, we declared a duvidend and our company's policy is 50 per cent dividends of the net profit. So if we are making a profit of N3 billion,  we will be declaring about 1.5 billion dividend to our shareholders," he added.


Vandebeeck said the increasing terrorist action of the boko haram sect in the northern part of the country has disrupted so many business activities but however hope to achieve a stable and peaceful business activities in the north.

 

"We are committed to research and development and also devote each year, more resources to this activity. Indeed we are, together with our international partners, at the forefront in the development of improved oil palm and rubber planting materials, which aims at selecting strains adapted to our soil and weather and with increasing yield per planted hectare,” he said.

Source: THISDAY LIVE

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