Belgian agro-industry group SIPEF, through its subsidiary Muko Muko Agro Sejahtera (MMAS), has acquired 1,770ha of oil palm land from Asri Rimba Wirabhakti in the Indonesian province of Bengkulu.

Located in the regency of Muko Muko, the transferred land comprised 370 planted hectares of oil palm and a potential of 1,400ha of new oil palm plantings for smallholders after the completion of an assessment by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and SIPEF’s own sustainability guidelines, the firm said in a 24 August statement.

The IDR36.6bn (US$2.46M) deal was expected to be completed by April 2019, but SIPEF said it had already taken control of the assets upon signing the conditional sale purchase agreement.

The acquisition of Asri Rimba’s land marked SIPEF’s first land purchase in the Muko Muko region since it bought PT Agro Muko in 2017.

SIPEF said the new oil palm hectares would contribute to optimising the processing capacity of the two existing Agro Muko mills.

SIPEF already operated 18,706ha of its own palm estates, 1,221ha of smallholders and 1,689ha of rubber estates, with the new acquisition increasing its potential area for development by 8.2%.