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Copra Millers Board Approves Refinery

Copra Millers Board Approves Refinery
June 27
09:04 2015

A combination of factors has forced Copra Millers Fiji Limited to re-strategise its role for the next six months.
The Copra Millers Fiji Limited board has approved to setup its refinery in Savusavu.
This was highlighted by the new chairman of the state-owned enterprise, Raj Sharma.
“Currently we are selling our coconut oil which is the crude oil, which is crushed and packed to be sold to the market or even sold locally,” Mr Sharma said
“People refine it and then put it on the shelf in the local market while we are selling this around $2 a litre they are selling it after refining for $3.60 per 750ml bottle.
“Which means it is bought at $2 and sold at $4 which is good for the people who are doing it but we are looking at refining it ourselves and also sell to the people who are currently refining it.”
Plans are in place to set up the new refinery within three to six months.
“That is what the board approved and for the refinery we have call up expression of interest in the dailies and the tender is now closed.
“We are looking to evaluate them and to set up the dryer as well.”
Mr Sharma said there is an opportunity to set-up a $50,000 small refinery and for dryers it could be bigger or small.
“We want to have optimum use of mill which means the board has approved in principle to set up dryers.
“We do not have dryers so we are buying copra from farmers which are dried by the farmers themselves, so we are looking to set up three dryers within the mill area in Savusavu.”
Mr Sharma said they are also mindful of the struggle the coconut industry continues to face.
Therefore, plans to revive and maintain the industry will be carried out in phases.
“We do not want to make huge investments and we don’t have copra. So that is another thing the board decided – that we do it in phases.
“It would be a pilot project rather than having a huge investment because this will cost us about $100,000 to set up.”
Mr Sharma said there are also some discussions with local buyers whether they want to refine because there is a demand as the price of copra is sold at world market price.
“We are looking at some end buyers of our product like Sri Lanka and we are also looking at Dubai.
“But we want to have a value product for it, which means to refine it so that we can get double price of what is being sold.”
The coconut oil sold at the moment is not refined and can only be used for purposes such as massage and lighting diyas.

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