Singapore multinational Olam Palm is set to produce biofuel from palm oil in Gabon after receiving regulatory approval, Energy Mix Report reported on 7 October.

The company, which is majority controlled by Olam International, had received all the related authorisations on 2 October, Energy Mix Report reported from Le Nouveau Gabon site.

Regulatory approval had been given at a working session in Libreville chaired by the Minister of the Economy and Recovery Jean-Marie Ogandaga. The Minister of Agriculture Biendi Maganga Moussavou and representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum also took part.

“It is a project which requires a fairly heavy investment and we have in our priorities, the industrialisation of Gabon,” said Olam Gabon general manager Alain Ngadjui.

The development of the biofuel industry aimed to diversify the Gabonese economy through the production of agrofuels, fats and margarine, Energy Mix Report said.

“The production of biofuel will strengthen the competitiveness of the palm oil sector and concretise the orientation of our country in favour of the preservation of the environment and the fight against climate change,” Moussavou said.

Olam Gabon operates three palm oil plantation areas in Gabon in a 60:40 joint venture with the government.

The Olam Palm Gabon (OPG) partnership has 112,455ha of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified oil palm plantations and 99,000ha of High Conservation Value forest, wetlands and savannah permanently protected, according to Olam’s 2019 annual report published on 14 April.

OPG also operates two palm oil mills, one kernel crushing plant and an edible oil refinery producing cooking oil and soap, sold to Gabonese consumers.