Guitry will, like the group’s flagship Ayenouan project, be developed as a vertically integrated palm oil operation including nursery, company-owned estates and a mill producing crude palm oil.
It will source palm fruit bunches from both the company’s own plantation and third-party growers.
Development capital is anticipated to be no more than €250,000 for the first twelve months of the project, and the company said that the longer term funding would likely be provided by a project partner – a process of negotiations is now underway.
"We believe Guitry in time has the potential to become a much larger and more profitable operation than our successful project in Ayenouan,” said Lincoln Moore, DekelOil executive director.
“It has always been our intention to first prove our vertically integrated model at Ayenouan before building a portfolio of other vertically integrated palm oil projects in West Africa.
Moore added: “Having established a successful operation at Ayenouan which plays an important role in the local economy, our business model is proven and de-risked and with this in mind we are encouraged by the interest and support we are receiving from potential partners and banks with regards to providing development capital for Guitry.
“I look forward to updating shareholders on our future progress at Guitry as we deliver on our strategy to transform DekelOil into a leading West African focused palm producer.”
It is anticipated that the Guitry nursery will be a modern operation - it will be computerised and fully irrigated - and it will have the capacity for 1mln plants per year, which would equate to some 6,000 hectares of palm oil estates.
The company has secured rights to develop oil palm estates over 24,000 hectares of brownfield land, primarily old cocoa and oil palm land. It also sees potential to significantly enhance the local smallholder industry to provide additional feed stock to a company owned mill.
Talks are underway with smallholders to determine the initial capacity requirements for the first mill operation at Guitry.
The company noted that the smallholder industry is less developed in the Guitry area, compared to what was encountered at Ayenouan, though it plans to undertake a feasibility study for a 15-30 tonne per hour crude palm oil extraction mill.