ZAMBIA – Zampalm, a subsidiary of Zambeef Products Plc, is soon expected to process its first palm into edible oils, a development that will cut down the importation of oil.

The development is also expected to transform the outlook of Zambia’s edible oil industry.

Zambeef Products Plc joint chief executive officer Carl Irwin said in an interview that the company has since started erecting a mill that will crush the palm at the Mpika-based company.

The over US$20 million investment becomes the first commercial palm project in Zambia, which will remove Zambia from being an importer of edible oil to a producer.

“Zampalm will in 2015 crush its first palm from the 2010 flagship plantation and the palm will become Zambia’s first commercial project,” he said.

Mr Irwin, who, however, could not state how many tonnes of palm oil will be processed at initial stage, said the first crop will be harvested on 980 hectares with the next crop expected to be harvested on 1,300 hectares.

In September, Zambeef chief executive officer Francis Grogan said the country is expected to save over US$50 million a year in foreign exchange expenditure once the company begins to process the commodity.

Mr Irwin said the palm project is a long-term one with the company expected to generate profits after five years.

January 3, 2014;