ADB, Silvermill Sign Deal to Develop Central Sulawesi’s Coconut Industry

News Release | 20 December 2019

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (20 December 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $5 million financing facility with PT SASL and Sons Indonesia (PTSASL), a subsidiary of the Silvermill Group (Silvermill)—one of Sri Lanka’s largest manufacturers and exporters of coconut-based products—to expand the group’s operations in Indonesia.

ADB’s facility will promote the development of a coconut agro-industry in Central Sulawesi, with the financing of a modern processing plant to manufacture value-added coconut products for export. The ensuing integrated coconut value chain will benefit about 9,500 smallholder coconut farmers and create jobs for more than 1,200 people in Central Sulawesi, more than half of them for women.

“As the second largest producer of coconuts in the world, Indonesia’s coconut industry has huge potential to become a high-performing, high value-adding sector of the economy,” said ADB Agribusiness Investment Specialist Ms. Carine Donges. “Silvermill’s expansion to Indonesia will allow the group to tap into a much larger supply of coconut resource, while directly improving livelihoods of thousands of rural households in Central Sulawesi.”

“This facility will enable Silvermill to further our multi-sourcing strategy to mitigate climate risks to serve our clients better, while uplifting the coconut community and working towards the betterment of coconut farmers not only in Sri Lanka but also in Central Sulawesi,” said Silvermill’s Group CEO Mr. Suresh Silva. “We further believe that the synergies between Silvermill and ADB, and our mutual values, will help make a meaningful difference to empower and inspire the communities around us.”

At full operational capacity, the new processing plant will procure over 100 million coconuts annually. It will provide a stable source of income to local coconut farmers at a premium compared to the traditional offtake from manufacturers of copra—the dried kernel of the coconut. The new plant is expected to produce over 9,400 metric tons per year of desiccated coconut—high-nutrition dried and shredded coconut kernel mainly used for cooking and baking—and has a capacity to produce over 2,500 metric tons of virgin coconut oil per year.

All the products to be manufactured by PTSASL will be exported globally. PTSASL is a limited liability company established in Indonesia in 2017 to manufacture coconut-based products for export. PTSASL is wholly owned by Silvermill, which has been providing high-value coconut-based products globally for almost 100 years since its establishment in 1920. Silvermill Group currently operates in 4 sectors, namely food ingredients; beverages and liquids; power and energy; and industrial solutions. The company caters to customers in all continents with over 60 products made to the highest quality standards.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.