Panels & Furniture Asia Sep/Oct 2020

September / October 2020, Issue 5 | Panels & Furniture Asia Firstly, congratulations on the success of Nkok SEZ! We understand that out of the 166 companies based there, around 88 units are in the wood processing sector. Is there any concern about more wood processing units establishing their bases at Nkok SEZ, given that they would be dependent on one single raw material (eg, timber)? Thank you so much. As of time of writing, the total capacity of wood-processing units in Nkok SEZ is around 1 million cubic metres and these units are currently operating at 70% capacity. Up to 3.4 million cubic metres of logs can be easily harvested in Gabon under sustainable forest management rules against its current production of 1.7 million cubic metres. Gabon SEZ has forest concessions of more than 2 million hectares that we are not yet harvesting currently, as a lot of raw material is available from other forest concessions. Moreover, the species and grade of timber logs required by veneer units, sawmills, furniture manufacturers and flooring companies are different, so they are not competing with each other for the raw material . Kumar Mohan TAKING THE GABON SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE TO GREATER HEIGHTS The Gabon Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is the fruit of a shared vision of the Gabonese government and Olam International Limited and seeks to facilitate the industrialisation of Gabon. Spanning 1,126 hecatres in Nkok, approximately 20 kilometres from Gabon’s capital city Libreville, Gabon SEZ is one of the biggest industrial parks in Sub-Saharan Africa aimed at promoting the sustainable production and processing of timber and other natural resources. Panels & Furniture Asia had the opportunity to find out from Kumar Mohan, Director General, Gabon SEZ , insights on the current successes of the SEZ, as well as upcoming milestones and plans. ADVERTORIAL