India firm eyes oil palm plantations in Indonesia

New Delhi (Antara News) - A leading Indian edible oil refiner, Jhunjhunwala Vanaspati Ltd, said on Wednesday that it will spend up to 1.5 billion rupees ($38 million) to buy 20,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in Indonesia.

"We are looking at either virgin or developed plantations in Indonesia. We may also consider other countries, including Malaysia," company director S.N. Jhunjhunwala said in a statement.

India, the world's second-biggest vegetable oil importer after China, buys palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, and soyoil from Brazil and Argentina.

Some Indian refiners have expressed interest in buying oil palm plantations in Indonesia, a leading producer of palm oil.

Indonesia has the potential to add 10 to 11 million hectares of oil palm plantations, which currently total about 6 million hectares, without damaging virgin forests, M.R. Chandran, adviser to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, told Reuters in an interview in September. (*)
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