The Inquirer (Monrovia)
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Liberia: U.S.$2.6 Billion Investment for Bong Mines
Morrison O.G. Sayon 18 December 2008

Barely a week following the arrival of Seaboard Corporation with an initial investment of US30million, another company has arrived in the country with a huge investment package.

A Chinese company, China Union Investment Company, Limited has arrived in the country with an investment of US$2.6 billion believed to be the largest investment under the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

China Union Company Limited is expected to invest in one of Liberia's most prosperous site, the Bong Ranges, formerly operated by the Bong Mines Company (BMC). The Chinese company recently successfully won a bid to operate Bong mines with a very high score.

Speaking yesterday at the National Investment Commission (NIC) offices where a team of government negotiators and a high powered delegation from the China Union Company held their first meeting, NIC Chairman, Dr. Richard V. Tolbert described the US$2.6 billion investment project as very important to the government of Liberia.

Dr. Tolbert said the investment project is the largest to come to Liberia since the inception of the Unity Party government headed by President Sirleaf. He said the coming of the investors to invest such huge amount in Liberia that is just emerging from a devastating civil unrest is a clear manifestation of the level of trust and interest the international community has in Liberia.

"This will be a substantial project and a long time future for our nation. Your presence here today indicates your interest in Liberia. You won the bid based on transparency and you won 99% out of 100%," the NIC boss averred.

He said if the negotiation that is ongoing between the company and the Liberian government goes well the project will be implemented in 2009 and in five year's time, China Union will create about 3,000 jobs for Liberians.

Presenting a graphic description of the investment project, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of China Union, Mr. Yin Fuyou disclosed that his company will construct a 130MW Hydro Power Plant on the St. Paul River to supply electricity to Monrovia and other areas.

Mr. Yin who spoke through an interpreter noted that Bong Mines will be transformed with modern facilities including a residential area for employees of the company. He said the company will also create an agricultural site where rice and other crops will be planted.

China Union, according to Mr. Yin, will also build a park where livestock will be raised. He said the ore that will be extracted from the mountains of Liberia would benefit every Liberian as the company will be producing steel in the country.

Earlier, Labor Minister, Samuel Kofi Woods stressed the need for the creation of more jobs for thousands of Liberians who are jobless. Minister Woods said to create jobs is a major factor to economic growth and a boost for social economic development. The Labor minister and other ministers on the government's negotiation team lauded the Chinese Company for winning the bid and assured the company of government's support to its operation in the country.

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