herewe go.. news has printed.
Richard Pieris to invest US$ 80 m
On Indonesian palm oil plantation:
Diversified blue chip Richard Pieris and Company will shortly invest US$ 80 million on a 16,000 hectare palm oil plantation in Indonesia.
“We are in the process of serious negotiations to take over 16,500 hectares of land in Indonesia, Richard Pieris Group Chairman Dr. Sena Yaddehige told Daily News Business.
Dr Sena Yaddehige
He said the company was in an advanced stage of negotiations because the initial commitment to the land is around US$15 million and that he was trying to risk manage this investment which will be invested by the Group. “The company will be getting effectively only 11,000 acres and the remainder will go in for land settlements,” he said.
“Richard Pieris has always been in plantations and palm oil has been an industry which we have always been passionate about. We have even over 2,500 hectares of palm oil plantations in Sri Lanka. We will add a further 1,000 hectares to this,” he said.
“We would like to increase it further but Sri Lanka does not have that volume of land.
He said that had the land been available in Sri Lanka, he would have opted to have the palm oil plantation expanded in Sri Lanka. “I would love to do another 5000 hectares of palm oil in Sri Lanka. I have also been offered another 65,000 hectares of land for palm oil cultivation in another country, he said. He was tightlipped with the destination of investment.
“I have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 65,000 hectares but initial work will be the Indonesian operation, he said.
The principal aim of this palm oil plantation would be for export as palm oil is a unique dual use product. It can be converted into bio-diesel profitably with the price going upto US$80 per barrel and the market is extremely good with the number of mouths to be fed arising daily especially in India and China. After all this is the poor man’s ghee while it is also an important food product,” he said.
It is going to be really hard work with a US$700 million investment for the 100,000 hectares plantation and it is bound to take around 10 years. But that investment does not have to go in full time cash for a start. The project will start generating funds for reinvestment for the third year onwards and we will be doing 100,000 hectares annually for ten years, he said.
He also said that his dream was to make Richard Pieris, a billion dollar company but that would be a long term vision over the next five to ten year period. “We are at US$ 300 million now and the next target will be to make Richard Pieris a US$ 500 million group within the next two years,” he said.
The targeted US $ 1 billion for the group will comprise US$ 500 million locally and the second US$ 500 million from overseas. “I have an excellent team with me and I expect them to take the Group forward to reach these elusive targets,” he said.