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Black Sands village factory hopes to generate jobs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 10, 2012) – The governments of Vanuatu and China are set to build a fish processing plant in South East Efate.

An agreement was reached in 2004 to establish the factory in Black Sands village, however a land dispute and complaints about potential pollution halted the plans.

On Friday, the Vanuatu government paid customary land owners a lease of just over one million U.S. dollars for 30 hectares of land in Forari.

The Minister of Lands, Steven Kalsakau says the land will accommodate an industrial zone, where manganese was once exploited before the independence of Vanuatu in 1980.

He says the project will see the construction of a large wharf and the relocation of a fuel depot from Port Vila.

[PIR editor’s note: The government committed to a US$1.1 million payment premium on the 75-year lease to landowners, the first US$53,000 of which was presented during signing ceremonies earlier last week. The new venture is hoped to provide economic boosts, employment opportunities, and a higher standard of living for local communities and the nation in general.]

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