Cocoland Sugar Development Limited to be a Special Economic Zone in Abau, Central Province

Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 10:51 pm

Minister for International Trade and Investment Richard Maru, Abau MP Sir Puka Temu, International Trade officer, Jacinta Warakai-Manua and representatives of the Coco and Sugar Development Limited (Picture Supplied)

The Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru has announced that Cocoland Sugar Development Limited in Abau, Central Province, will be developed as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). 

After a very successful trial in Abau on the proposed sugar farmland, the proposal is for a 40,000-hectare sugar farm, a processing mill and a power plant.

The plantation will produce 3 million tonnes of sugar every year with the target market to be PNG and other countries, especially Indonesia.

The project is expected to create over 20, 000 jobs for Papua New Guineans.

“PNG is still importing sugar from Thailand despite the presence of Ramu Sugar in PNG, so we need another large-scale sugar project which will also be good for price competition,” said Mr Maru.

He said this project will be developed as an SEZ and has the highest Government priority.

“We want to open a Diplomatic Mission in Thailand and having this project here in PNG gives us one reason why we should be in Thailand. 

"We want to see more Thai companies coming and investing in PNG because there is a lot we can learn from them, and we can get more investments from Thailand. 

"If we cannot get this project across the line then we will not have confidence from Thailand investors to come and invest in PNG, especially in large-scale agriculture projects. 

"This project is important; it is an anchor investment for us because it affirms that our government’s decision to open a Diplomatic Mission in Thailand is a very sound decision,” said the minister.

The minister will visit Abau to see the project site before taking a Submission to Cabinet to get their approval.