Astra Agro Projects Growth In 2009 Palm Oil Production

PT Astra Agro Lestari, the country’s largest producer of crude palm oil, is projecting its CPO production to reach 1.05 million tons this year, up 7 percent from last year’s output of 980,000 tons. The announcement was made by Tonny Hermawan, a director at Astra Agro in Bandung, West Java, late on Friday.

Astra Agro’s CPO production in the 10 months to October totaled 896,000 tons, up by 9.7 percent from the same period last year. Sumatra still contributes the most CPO — about 48 percent — while Kalimantan and Sulawesi contribute 34 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Tonny said Astra Agro expects output to rise by 6 percent to 7 percent next year, and plans to build two new processing plants in East Kalimantan. The plants are expected to process up to 150,000 tons of fresh fruit bunch per day from the company’s 12,000 hectares of palm oil plantations in the province. The plants will require investment of Rp 80 billion to Rp 100 billion ($8.5 million to $10.6 million).

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