Monday, June 8, 2009

Japanese firm injects $40m in paper project in Tanzania

Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and Ntwara-based Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) have already facilitated the company, Oji Paper Co., to secure chunks of land in the two regions.

The initial capital does not include the costs to be incurred by the company in setting up infrastructure.

Zenya Teraguchi, the company`s Group Manager in charge of the project in Tanzania, told The Guardian on Sunday in Tokyo that the planting of trees would be carried out by the company itself through direct investment.

The plantations, he said, would cover an area of 20,000 hectares, and another 30,000 hectares would be for out growers but until June last year, a total of 11,828 hectares only had been earmarked for the project in the two regions.

The company is expected to distribute tree seedlings to out growers who would undergo special training on tree planting.

``Apart from individuals who will be directly employed in our project, out growers stand to benefit because the company will be buying trees from them,`` Teraguchi said.

Initially the company had planed to set up plantations in Tanga region but due to low capacity of the Tanga port to carry the company`s woodchip carriers, the idea was abandoned.

However, Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) embarked on dredging Mtwara port and expanding its berth.

This is in turn, convinced Oji Paper Co. Ltd to shift its attention to Mtwara and Lindi regions.

The company is also considering establishing a chip mill near the port. But Teraguchi claimed that despite submitting the project`s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report in May last year, they were yet to receive official feedback from the government to carry out the project.

The manager said the company expects to start logging and exporting raw materials in 2018.

The Japanese company was founded in February 12, 1873 and established on August 1949 with a paid in capital of $ 903.30 million.

Today it has overseas plantations in Australia, China, Laos Vietnam and New Zealand.