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OIL PALM DEVELOPMENT

The Sigite Mukus Integrated Rural Development Project in Pomio in East New Britain is the latest investment by RH in their long-term commitment to PNG. It will bring long-term economic and social benefits to one of PNG's most remote areas.

The project, currently in the development stage, is an approved area for agriculture development of 42,000 hectares, with 31,000 ha allocated for oil palm development. It includes an investment of more than K600 million for three palm oil mills and is expected to contribute royalties, premium payments, infrastructure levies and other community funding worth K834 million (US$390 million) over the project's lifespan.

Based on these figures, the project will inject around K33.4 million (US$15.7 million) per year directly into the East New Britain economy. The Sigite Mukus project currently employs more than 450 people locally; this number is expected to grow to more than 3,000 people in the next three years.

The project's planned construction of a regional road network will connect the project area with rural villages and nearby urban centres. Spending on the local road network over the next 25 years as part of the project is likely to outstrip government spending on roads in the area. Over the same period the project will also directly contribute some K28 million (US$13 million) in infrastructure levies to local landowners.

The project's planned social contributions include education and health facilities, which will further improve social conditions in the district over the coming years

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