Cameroon Says Herakles Needs Permits for Oil Palm Project

Herakles Farms needs to obtain the correct permits before it can proceed with its plans to develop an oil palm plantation and processing plant in southwest Cameroon, the government said.

The New York-based company needs a Public Utility Declaration Certificate and another certificate showing effective transfer of the plantation land before proceeding with its activity, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife said in a statement yesterday.

On May 18 Herakles said it suspended work in Cameroon and furloughed its 690 workers there after being ordered to halt operations by the government.

A Sept. 17, 2009 agreement between government and Herakles’ subsidiary Sithe Global Sustainable Oils Cameroon for the development of a plantation on 73,086 hectares (180,595 acres) of land doesn’t “exempt” the company from respecting “legal procedure and environmental constraints,” Forestry Minister Ngole Philip Ngwesse said in the statement.

The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife authorized the clearing of the forest around the plantation within an area of 2,500 hectares close to the village of Talangaye but following complaints from the local community, the minister was obliged to act, the ministry said in the statement.

Herakles has obtained all necessary permissions, it said in its statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pius Lukong in Yaounde at plukong@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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