The Congolese government has signed agreements with three logging companies for the development and industrial manufacturing of timber.
The agreements are estimated at seven billion francs CFA, or over 14 million US dollars, official sources told PANA on Monday.
The three companies are Trabec, Kimbakala and Exploitation et Transformation de Bois de Moungouna.
The first company, Trabec, will develop the forest unit of Mouliéné covering 150,000 hectares, in the department of Bouenza.
The planned investment amounts to 1.91 billion CFA for a production of 8,920 cubic metres of logs in 2012.
The company will employ 213 people in 2015, as against 151 currently.
Kimbakala will develop the forest unit of Loamba, which covers a landmass of 149,542 hectares, in the department of Bouenza. Total investment is 2.337 billion CFA with an an expected production this year of 2,775 cubic metres of logs.
Exploitation et Transformation de Bois de Moungouma will develop the Moungouma unit covering 30,600 hectares in the department of Likouala in the northeast of the country. Total investment is estimated at 3.303 billion CFA for a production in 2012 of 6,216 cubic metres of logs.
The Congolese forest law, which has been in force since 2000, compels forest companies to locally process 85 per cent of their timber and only export 15 per cent in the form of logs.
Timber is the second biggest foreign currency earner in Congo after oil with production of 1,165,429 cubic metres in 2010.
Forest covers two-thirds of the 342,000 square km of the land mass in Congo.