29 Aug

Spanish company begins Chile’s largest Olive Oil business

By Naomi Bryant,

Spanish-owned Peinsa has announced plans to build Chile’s largest olive oil business at a cost of US$200 million. The project contemplates putting 5,000 hectares of olive plantations into production in Region VII.

The company began buying up land near Villaseca in January. It currently owns 3,200 hectares, with contracts to rent another 300. In February, Peinsa began preparing these lands for cultivation.

“During 2009 we will buy the hectares that we’re lacking,” said Peinsa general manager José Manuel Palazón. “Right now, all are our property is in Region VII, but we’ve gotten offers from other regions that we are studying.”

In October, Peinsa will begin the first stage of its operation by planting olives in 800 hectares of land. The company expects to complete the first stage by January 2009. Palazón said olive oil production won’t begin until May 2011 and that the company hopes to sell 80 percent of its olive oil in bulk.

Recent development in Chile’s olive oil sector have attracted many companies like Peisna. Most of the companies that invest in Chile’s olive oil industry are looking to diversify their holdings. Peina is no exception: its primary focus is Spanish real estate.

Chile now has 10,000 hectares of planted olive trees, with 5,500 hectares being harvested for full production. Oil production hit the 200 million liter mark for the first time this year – with most production going to markets in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico.

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