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Palm oil giant buys PNG firm noted for environmental practices

Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby Plantation Bhd has completed its acquisition New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, a Papua New Guinea-based grower lauded by environmentalists for its green policies. 

The $1.7 billion deal, which closed last week, brings Sime Darby’s total land holdings to almost one million hectares, according to the company. 

New Britain Palm Oil has been praised by activists — including Greenpeace — for its environmental policies, including barring peatlands and forest conversion for plantations. It was also an early leader in getting its palm oil certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). 

Sime Darby on the other hand has gotten mixed reviews on its environmental practices. However last year the company committed to a moratorium on conversion of high carbon stock forests until a methodology for assessing carbon stocks is developed. 

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