GHANA – Birim oil mills, a palm oil processing factory in Ghana has embarked on its full operation after receiving a new lease of life funding under the 1-District-1-Factory (1D1F) initiative, reports GNA.

The recapitalisation through the Agricultural Development Bank and Ecobank in response to the government’s industrialisation drive will see the factory, which has been non-operational for quite some-time, back to business.

According to the management, the factory has a capacity of processing between 30 tons per hour to 60 tons per hour of palm oil and palm kernel oil and a potential of utilising an output from a 50,000-acre oil palm plantation.

This cash injection will open up to 10,000 employment opportunities to residents in the production of the factory’s main product which will include laundry soaps, personal wash detergents, refined cooking oil and edible palm oil.

Despite the country having an estimated 305,758ha of oil palm land  which produces 243,852tons of palm oil, the demand of the product is still high leaving a deficit of 35,000tons.

Birim is set to face major competition from other major players in the industry including Ghana Oil Palm Development Company Ltd. (GOPDC), Twifo Oil Palm Plantations Ltd (TOPP) and Benso Oil Palm Plantations Ltd (BOPP).

President Akufo-Addo, Ghana, while performing the ceremony to inaugurate the rejuvenated mill, said the government was making progress in its efforts at transforming the economy.

Speaking during the inauguration, Minister of Trade and Industry, encouraged the establishment of oil palm plantations to bring in more foreign exchange compared to their counterparts in Malaysia who earn US$20 billion, annually, from the export of palm.

The Ghanaian government has structured several interventions, including expansion of the seed nut production capacity, to rejuvenate the palm oil industry in the country.

The palm oil sector had received more than US$7.4 million from the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) in support to the industry with Birim Oil Mills expecting more from the financial providers in the region.