Swedish firm to cultivate 1.5m tones pulp mill in Cross River
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade’s effort at changing the economic landscape of the state received another boost yesterday, as a Swedish firm, Greenland Resources, announced plans to establish a pulp mill that will generate a total of 1.5million tones yearly.
Announcing the plans at the Governor’s conference room, Calabar, leader of the team and President of the firm, Torbjorn Johansson, said they needed degraded land to establish the pulp mill.
Johansson who said the establishment of the mill will not have any adverse effect on the state’s eco system added: “The mill has no forest of interest for its establishment and deforestation of natural forest is out of question.”
The president explained that the choice of Cross River for the mill which will create about 14,500 jobs was owing to its peace and security.
He said “after travelling round the world, his team found the state to be second to none on terms of peace and security.”
He added that “this country has a big population, great workforce and the security in Cross River is the best. We have been trying round the world to find a place to site the firm and were very close to giving up, but the Sweden Embassy in Nigeria advised us to come to Calabar, so we are here and it is nice to see the investor-friendly Governor Ben Ayade.”
The President maintained that besides the creation of jobs for the citizenry, the pulp mill will increase the country’s export with over 1.2 billion dollars yearly.
Johansson also disclosed that “Bio fuel, viscos, bio plastic products as well as raw materials for carbon fiber can be produced in the pulp mill frame,” pointing out that “final product will be directed to international and domestic paper manufacturers.”
On finances, the team leader explained that “such will be sourced from investment and commercial banks, including other investors with which negotiations were ongoing.”
Responding, Governor Ayade assured that his administration will support the execution of the project, noting that creating more than 14,000 jobs would be a huge relief for government.
His words: “We will do all we can as a government to support you. We are excited about your project. I know what comes out of this. Fourteen thousand jobs is a huge relief for me as a government because 14,000 means 1.4 million people feeding from 14,000, given the African brotherhood and love for each other.”
Continuing, Ayade said: “We are ready to fast track the documentation process to ensure that you get the facilities you are seeking.”
He charged the relevant commissioners to ensure necessary support for the speedy commencement of the project.