14 Apr 2011

Solomons timber exporter upbeat over new partnership

6:33 pm on 14 April 2011

A Solomon Islands timber exporter says having a new joint venture partner with a commitment to the industry is a very good fit and the company will grow significantly.

Under a new deal with the government, Kolombangara Forestry Plantation Ltd will have a new majority partner, Nien Wood Manufacturers of Taiwan, which has agreed to an investment of 11 million US dollars.

The KFPL chair, Tony Hughes, says this ends years of uncertainty since the Commonwealth Development Corporation pulled out of an earlier joint venture.

Mr Hughes says the company, which has operated a sustainable plantation forestry operation on Kolombangara Island since 1989, is expecting a substantial increase in output.

"And an important aspect of this development is that the advent of Nien, who've been looking for a secure source, while KFPL has been looking for a secure market - it's a very good fit between the two enterprises, and we are particularly pleased about that."