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Equatorial Palm Oil plc, (AIM: PAL), the AIM listed palm oil development and productioncompany with operations in Liberia, West Africa is pleased to announce it has appointed Coastal & Environmental Services (“CES”) to conduct its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) studies,  as part of the Company’s strategy to source development bank funding for the next stage of expansion in Liberia.

The ESIA studies will take place at both of the Company’s concession areas namely the Palm Bay Estate and the Butaw Estate. The scope is to undertake ESIA processes that meet certain  international standards and are compliant with relevant oil palm sector specific guidelines and requirements, as well as the requirements specified in the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards 1–8, generally regarded as the international benchmark in ESIA best practice.

CES is one of the most recognised and respected specialist environmental consulting firms in southern Africa.  The firm has recently completed a study for the first biofuel project to be funded by African development banks, the Addax Project in Sierra Leone, paving the way for a €258m loan agreement to develop the project.

The ESIA study is a continuation of social and environmental assessments already completed by the Company which will contribute to the Company’s strategy for large scale development of sustainable palm oil estates according to international guidelines.

The ESIA studies are an important step towards the implementation of our development plans, and will support our on-going discussion with international development banks seeking to become involved with our Liberia projects.

The resultant study is expected to be complete in the summer of this year.

Michael Frayne, Chairman of EPO, said:

“The continuation of these social and environmental studies is an important process inthe growth of our business. The Board believes CES are the best possible partner for these studies, with extensive experience  completing  ESIA studies in  Africa for development bank institutions.

The Company now enters into the next planned stage of growth and is driving forward with its planting schedules, employee development and CPO production.”

For further information, contact:

Equatorial Palm Oil plc
Michael Frayne (Chairman)
+44 (0) 20 7766 7555

Strand Hanson Limited (Nominated Adviser)
James Harris / Paul Cocker
+44 (0) 20 7409 3494

Mirabaud Securities LLP (Broker)
Peter Krens
+44 (0) 20 7484 3510

Pelham Bell Pottinger (Financial / Corporate PR)
Archie Berens / Philippe Polman
+44 (0) 20 7861 3126

About CES
As one of the largest and most established specialist environmental consulting firms in southern Africa, CES has gained significant experience in a wide range of environmental assessment and management fields since its inception in 1990. CES primarily specialises in assessing the impacts of development on the natural, social and economic environment through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, and in so doing contribute towards sustainable development. CES has a Head Office in Grahamstown, South Africa.


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