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PRESCO PLC Producer of Specialty Fats and Oils

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Presco is a fully-integrated agro-industrial establishment with oil palm plantations, a palm oil mill, a palm kernel crushing plant and a vegetable oil refining and fractionation plant. It's the first of its kind in West Africa.

Presco specialises in the cultivation of oil palm and in the extraction, refining and fractionation of crude palm oil into finished products.

Presco supplies specialty fats and oils of outstanding quality to customer specifications and assures a reliability of supply of its products year round. This is made possible by the integrated nature of the company’s production process.

Presco is the Nigerian market leader for specialty fats and oils.


Brief history


During the seventies, the Government of the former Bendel State of Nigeria (which is now divided into two states: Edo State and Delta State) initiated a programme for the development of oil palm cultivation with the financial support of the World Bank. The state-owned Oil Palm Company Ltd (OPC) established Obaretin Estate and planted 1,150 hectares between 1975 and 1980. The plantation is located in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State at km 22 on the Benin City-Sapele road, south of Benin City.

nv Siat sa became involved in Presco in 1991, at which time there were 2,700 hectares planted at Obaretin Estate. Under Siat’s management, a new expansion programme commenced from 1993 and an additional 3,000 hectares was planted at Obaretin Estate. The total planted area at 31 December 2004 was 5,527 hectares.


In 1996 Presco acquired the 2,780 hectare Cowan Estate at Ajagbodudu, Delta State, from the Delta State Government-owned Oil Palm Company Ltd.


In 2002, Presco acquired 6,000 hectares from Edo state government and further 1,500 hectares from other parties making a total of 7,500 hectares.


The company’s operations are fully integrated with plantations, palm oil mill, palm kernel crushing plant and vegetable oil refining plant. It is the only fully integrated operation in Nigeria.




Presco is a public limited liability company incorporated on September 24, 1991 under Nigerian law. Its corporate head office is at the company's Obaretin Estate near Benin City. 

Presco holds the Obaretin Estate (a concession of 7,000 hectares) and the Ologbo Estate (a concession of 14,000 hectares), both located in Edo State, and the Cowan Estate, a concession of 2,800 hectares in Delta State. 

Presco today consists of :


  • Oil palm plantations of 11,760 hectares of which 8,347 are mature
  • A palm oil mill with a capacity of 60 tonnes fresh fruit bunches/hour
  • A refinery / fractionation plant with a capacity of 100 tonnes/day
  • A palm kernel crushing plant with a capacity of 60M tonnes/day


Presco employs about 3,250 people: 450 are permanent staff and 2,800 are contract workers as at February 2013. 

Presco is a subsidiary of Siat s.a., a Belgian agro-industrial company specialized in industrial as well as smallholder plantations of tree crops, mainly oil palm and rubber, and allied processing industries such as palm oil mills, palm oil refining / fractionation, soap works and crumb rubber factories. Siat diversified its activities into cattle ranching. Siat has as its shareholders agronomists and economists with experience in the development of agro-industrial ventures in the tropics. (

Besides Presco, Siat has a major stake in the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC) in Ghana (, in Siat Gabon ( in Gabon and in the Compagnie Heveicole de Cavally in Ivory Coast.


Presco today: highlights

Employment Generation

Presco is one of the largest employers of labour in Edo and Delta states, with a total of about 2,200 employees.

Indirectly, Presco’s operations positively impact on the livelihoods of many more people through transport contracts, construction contracts, fresh fruit bunches and kernel purchases from farmers, as well as by the company being a large consumer of goods and services.

Plantation Development

In keeping with its aspiration of maintaining a leading position in the oil palm sub-sector of the agro-industry in Nigeria, Presco plans to continue its forward looking vision of plantation expansion and development in oil palm cultivation. 

Currently the total planted area is 11,537 hectares of oil palm plantations.

The planting of Ologbo is undergoing. So far 3,562 ha have been planted.   

Industrial facilities

The palm oil mill capacity is increased from 48 to 60 tonnes fresh fruit bunches (FFB)/hour. The palm kernel crushing plant operates at 45 tonnes/day. The refinery has recently been increased to 100 metric tones per day and fractionation plant capacity and refined products to 60 tonnes/day.


Community Relations

To create a healthy environment for our operations, and in an effort to ensure that our presence has a positive impact on the lives and social well-being of our host communities, our Relations Department handles all aspects of community relations. More specifically we focus on employment, educational infrastructure, road rehabilitation, scholarships for students, provision of electricity, water supplies and other essential facilities.


Presco firmly believes in environmentally friendly and sustainable production. All waste oil from the mill factory is recycled into the plantation or used as fuel to generate green process steam and electricity. As a member of the Siat Group of Companies, Presco is actively involved in a joint research programme with CIRAD. This research programme focuses on developing criteria for sustainable and environmentally responsible plantation development and management.



Palm oil mill and palm kernel crushing process: a brief description 

Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from the plantations are offloaded daily at the factory's offloading bay. This ramp can contain up to 600 tonnes of FFB. Before offloading, the fruit is weighed at the electronic weighbridge at the entrance gate.

Palm Oil Mill 

From the offloading bay, the FFB fall in cages on a rail system. These cages are pulled into a horizontal steriliser, where during a 90 minutes steaming process, the fruits are sterilised to prevent further acidification of the oil. 

The cages with sterilised fruit bunches are emptied in a bunch hopper, here the fruits are separated from the bunches. Thereafter the loose fruits are conveyed to a digester and then to a screw press. At the press, the palm oil is pressed out of the fruits. The oil goes to the de-sanding and decanting tanks, while cake, also containing the palm nuts, is conveyed to the palm kernel recovery station. 

The empty fruit bunches (EFB) are recycled in the plantation. 

When the oil leaves the screw press it contains water, sand and impurities. During a process of static de-sanding and decanting, most of the impurities in the oil are removed in a centrifugal oil purifier. The last traces of oil in the effluent are recovered in a centrifugal sludge separator. 

Now the crude palm oil (CPO) is ready for storage and further processing in the refinery and fractionation plant. There it is processed into refined bleached deodorised oil (RBDO) and palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD). RBDO is then fractionated into palm olein and stearin.

Palm Kernel Crushing Plant 

The cake, which was separated in the palm oil mill, goes through a column where air separates fibres and nuts. The fibres are conveyed to the steam boiler as fuel, the nuts go to a nut breaker for cracking. Here the shell is separated from the kernel. Cracked shells and palm kernels are further separated in a clay bath. The shells also go the steam boiler as fuel. The palm kernels pass through drying silos and into the palm kernel crushing plant. 

At the palm kernel crushing plant, presses crush the kernels in two stages. The oil produced is filtered and stored as crude palm kernel oil (CPKO). Here we also have the option to process the oil at the refinery to obtain refined palm kernel oil (RPKO). 

The cake, remaining after the pressing, is also used in the plantation. 

Refinery and Fractionation process: a brief description 

Crude palm oil, after extraction from the bunch, looks at room temperature (e.g. 25°C) like a pasty and strongly red-coloured material. This product is traditionally consumed as such in African countries. However, some consumers and industries require a more finished product. 

It is therefore, necessary to find a process to:


  • Remove free fatty acids
  • Remove odour
  • Remove colour
  • Obtain a more free-flowing material at room temperature
  • Obtain hard fats used as bakery fats

The removal of fatty acids, colour and odour can be achieved by the refining (physical or chemical) of the oil. 

To obtain a free flowing material, a fractionation process, which allows the separation of the liquid phase from the solid phase is used. 

The Refining Process 

Presco installed the more economic physical refining, as opposed to chemical refining. 

The plant consists of three main sections: dry degumming, bleaching and distillation / deodorization. The plant uses a continuous process. 

Dry degumming: 

In the dry degumming, the crude palm oil is mixed with food grade acid (normally phosphoric acid) in a static mixer followed by a retention vessel. After the retention vessel, the oil and precipitated materials are fed directly to the bleaching section. 


Degummed oil mixed with earth proportioned by an automatic feeding system is heated to processing temperature before entering the vacuum bleacher where it is dried and de-aerated. 

During continuous agitation, the bleaching earth absorbs the main particles of colour bodies as well as metal contamination and oxidising materials in the oil. After the bleacher, the oil / earth mixture is passed through filters where the spent earth is removed together with the precipitated materials from degumming. The oil then passes through polishing filters before entering the distillation / deodorisation section via a de-aerator / balance tank. 

Distillation / Deodorisation: 

The bleached oil is first de-aerated. Next, the oil is heated by deodorised oil in an economiser before being fed into a preheater and the distiller/ deodoriser. There the oil is first heated by thermal oil. Any remaining air and volatile materials are removed in the process of heating to deodorising temperature. 

The oil then enters the deodoriser section where the main body of free fatty acids and other volatile odour and taste substances are removed from the oil. The free fatty acids are reduced to an absolute minimum and certain flavour and odorous compounds, which require a longer retention time, are finally removed or inactivated. 

The vapours from the deodoriser are gathered in a central manifold leading to the scrubber, where they are passed through a layer of packing cooled by circulating acid oil. Here the fatty acids and other fatty volatiles are condensed and accumulated in the bottom of the fatty acid receiver tank. The level in the fatty acid receiver tank is maintained by constantly discharging a controlled amount of cooled recycled fatty acids. 

The oil leaving the deodoriser is cooled to storage temperature and then passed through one of two alternately working polishing filters. 

This arrangement was adopted in view of simplicity of operation and maintenance and is better adapted to local conditions. 

The product obtained is refined bleached and deodorised oil (RBDO).

The Fractionation Process 

The process of fractionation consists of the separation of the liquid part (olein) from the solid part (stearin). In principle the process is very simple, involving:

  • Keeping the fat at a controlled temperature to allow crystallisation
  • Separation of the formed crystals

Presco adopted the dry fractionation process operating batch-wise, as opposed to centrifugal separation with the aid of detergents or solvent fractionation. With this process oil is kept at a controlled temperature in large tanks with slow stirrers. Crystals form and build into aggregates of several millimetres in diameter. The slurry is pumped through a membrane filter press for separation of the olein and stearin fractions. 

The stearin cake obtained from the membrane filter press is melted in the stearin-melting tank below the press, which also acts as a stearin intermediate tank, prior to storage or packaging.


Phone +234-803-413-4444, ( MD Secretary ) +32 (0)2379 9231
Address Obaretin Estate, Km 22, Benin/Sapele Road, Ikpoba-Okha, Local Government Area, Benin, City Edo State, Nigeria
Fax +32 (0)2379 9232


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