DAKAR, April 7 (For other news from Reuters
Africa Summit, click here)
Olam International Ltd has started its long-promised
70,000 tonne cocoa processing plant in Ivory Coast and plans to
reach full capacity within two months, its head of Africa said
at the Reuters Africa Summit on Monday.
Ivory Coast is the world's top cocoa grower and leading
grinder with a processing capacity of around 500,000 tonnes,
equivalent to around a third of its crop. Reforms aim to boost
local processing to about half of its production.
"There is no reason it should not achieve full capacity soon
after commercial commissioning. It will be within the next
couple of months," said Venkatramani Srivathsan, Olam's managing
director for Africa and the Middle East of the plant.
The Singapore commodities firm had previously said in its
2013 annual report that commercial operations would begin "early
The plant, located at the port of San Pedro, has a capacity
of 70,000 tonnes and will process cocoa beans into products like
cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa liquor.
Olam is present in 25 African countries and has invested
1.66 billion Singapore dollars ($1.32 billion) in the continent,
including palm and rubber plantations in Gabon and a wheat mill
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($1 = 1.2599 Singapore Dollars)
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Mark Potter)