The global palm oil leader wagers 50 million on Livorno, making it its reference hub for Southern Europe. The Indonesian Musim Mas group – with a turnover of nearly 700 million dollars, 28,000 employees, and a presence in twelve countries along the entire palm oil production chain – has chosen Tuscany as the location for its production plant presiding over the Mediterranean and North Africa, and promises to be a reference point for the activities present in the areas surrounding the Tyrrhenian port.
At the end of June, Masol Continental Biofuel – an Italian company controlled by the group based in Sumatra – purchased the plant from Novaol, a local business for vegetable based fuels for propulsion and heating that had interrupted its activities at the beginning of 2012. A few days later, Musim Mas inaugurated its project on the new biodiesel plant in Livorno. The Indonesian business plan consists of two steps: an investment of 1.5 million to convert and modernize the site that will produce biofuels from palm oil; and 50 million for new machinery to double the refining of palm oil so as to supply other industrial fields, such as pharmaceutical chemistry, food industry, healthcare products. At capacity, the production volume should be around 600-800,000 tons per year. In lockstep, there should be growth from the employment perspective: it will begin with the rehiring of the 30 former Novaol workers, to then increase to 70 operators, to which approximately 100 more should be added for satellite activities.
If the Netherlands constitutes the reference point for Northern Europe, Livorno was chosen for the Mediterranean area because of the strategic location of its port, on which the current plant is built, and because of its draft that, at over 12 meters, allows for the docking of large ships coming from North Africa. In the initial phase, the group predicts the docking of two ships per month, supplying raw materials to the plants. “The investment – explained Et Lim, president of the Asian group – will allow Musim Mas to provide a better service to our clients in the Mediterranean and North African regions. We hope that this project’s success will act as the catalyst for the group’s ulterior, future investments in the Livorno area. We chose this city because we felt well received by the local authorities and the community, who have provided their backing and support”. "Musim Mas – added Gianfranco Simoncini, regional assessor of commercial activities – is an important investor from one of the most dynamic countries in the world, and operates in a sector in which Tuscany is highly involved, also through the creation of a renewable-energy district."