The partners plan to build a $150m factory in Salalah in the southern Omani province of Dhofar with a processing capacity of around 50,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans per year. Cocoa beans will be sourced from the Ivory Coast itself as well as Ghana –the world’s two major cocoa growing regions.
The joint venture aims to cash in on growing demand for chocolate in the Middle East and India.
The facility should be up and running by the end of 2015, according to CKG chairman Charles Kader Goore, and will operate under the name Chocolatry of Oman.
“This project will enable us to supply the markets of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the entire region where there is a big potential,” Goore said.
CKG bought Abidjan-based SN Chocodi chocolate processing plant from Barry Callebaut in 2008, but also has operations in the agricultural, security and logistics industries.