SINGAPORE, June 4 (Reuters) - U.S. agribusiness giant
Cargill Inc said it is building a $200 million palm
oil refinery in the Indonesian province of Lampung, which the
company expects to be completed late next year.
The new refinery is part of a push by Cargill to fully
oversee its palm oil supply chain "from plantation to customer"
in order to meet North American and European demand for more
sustainable palm oil, the company said.
"This project is a key step for Cargill to increase the
availability of sustainably sourced and produced edible oil
ingredients for our customers," Robert Aspell, president of
Cargill Asia Pacific, said in the statement issued on Thursday.
"This fully integrated supply chain offers our customers
assurance that stringent production requirements and the highest
product quality are achieved," he said.
The construction of the refinery has started and is slated
to be completed late 2022, the statement said.
Indonesia is the world's top producer of palm oil, which is
used in a wide range of consumer products from food to
cosmetics, but the versatile edible oil has faced a backlash
particularly in some western markets over issues ranging from
labour rights to forest clearance.
The palm oil industry has also been linked to forest fires
in Indonesia, where in 2019 at least 1.6 million hectares of
forest and other land were burned and losses were estimated at
$5.2 billion as a choking haze blanketed the region.
(Reporting by Fathin Ungku
Editing by Ed Davies)