The Disposition of Oil Palm Infrastructure



The Tzen oil palm plantation in the northwestern corner of Wide Bay in Pomio District, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea is a highly infrastructured space. Roads surround and order the oil palm plantings into a grid-like space and connect the main estate to the extensions of the plantation in the surrounding area. Not only is the plantation an area characterized by these ‘hard infrastructures’, but the plantation was established in 2008 as a part of a large combined logging and agriculture project aimed to bring income, employment and road infrastructure to the rural and remote Pomio District.

In this essay, I examine these two infrastructural features of the Tzen oil palm plantation. I begin by examining the specific components of the wider infrastructural system of the plantation, such as the road network, the palm oil mill and the palm oil pipeline that connects to the mill. After this, I examine the logging and agriculture projects as a part of the plan which the plantation was established. I argure that while the provision of infrastructure is built into the plan of the logging and plantation project, so the extractive logic of this project is built into the infrastructural system being developed.




How to Cite

Tammisto, T. (2024). The Disposition of Oil Palm Infrastructure. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 48(2), 111–117.