by Tai Beiping
KINSHASA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China's ZTE Agribusiness Company Ltd is
aiming at a 1 million hectare palm tree plantation in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DR Congo) for biofuel production, and the project can offer thousands of
jobs for the local people, the company's regional manager Zhang Peng told Xinhua
in an interview on Friday.
"We will plant palm trees here and convert palm oil into biodiesel. The
one-million-hecatre palm plantation will eventually provide thousands of jobs
for the local Congolese people," Zhang said.
ZTE, an IT company from China, is expanding to the biodiesel sector to
diversify its operations. The regional manager said that weather conditions in
the DR Congo is very suitable for growing palm trees, which are cultivated for
"Indonesia and Malaysia are traditionally major producers of palm oil, but
after research we found that weather conditions herein the DR Congo is also very
suitable for growing palm trees," he said.
Biodiesel has emerged as a big business amid strained energy supply
worldwide, and palm trees could be a fair solution to ease the industrial
world's thirst for energy.
According to Zhang, one hectare of palm tree plantation could yield five
tons of palm oil, while some 90 percent of the palm oil could be converted to
Once completed, this project can not only satisfy the energy needs of DR
Congo's industries, but also offer the Congolese lots of job opportunities.
"Palm tree plantation needs a lot of labor work, and we are going to hire
workers locally. So the entire plantation will hire thousands of local workers,"
said the manager.
This kind of investment has benefited the DR Congo government and people a
lot. DR Congo's government spokesman Lambert Mende told Xinhua on Thursday that
China's collaboration DR Congo in such fields as infrastructure, education and
energy development are beneficial to the African country.
He said the the DR Congo government is satisfied with cooperation with the
Chinese side and reiterated the government's determination to stick to the
cooperative ties with China.
China and the DR Congo have carried out a number of cooperation projects in
such fields as infrastructure, education and energy sector, bringing benefits
for both countries and their peoples.
The ZTE Agribusiness regional manager expressed gratitude to the DR Congo
government's spport for facilitating investment here, and voiced optimism for
the future of Sino-Congolese cooperation in various fields.