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November 11, 2008

Greenpeace blocks Indonesian palm oil ships
Greenpeace has blocked three tankers due to transport crude palm oil to China and Europe from leaving an Indonesian port in a bid to highlight deforestation caused by the cash crop, Reuters quoted the environmental group as saying Monday.

The rapidly expanding palm oil industry in Southeast Asia has come under attack by green groups for destroying rainforests and wildlife, as well the emission of greenhouse gases.

The blocked ships included Gran Couve, owned by the world's largest listed palm oil firm Wilmar International Ltd, which had been loading 27,000 tonnes of crude palm oil bound for Rotterdam, said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Forest Campaigner.

The other two ships blocked at the port of Dumai in Sumatra were Smooth Sea, owned by PT Musim Mas, and Victory Prima, owned by Sarana Tempa Perkasa, he said.

Greenpeace has used the tactic of seeking to block palm oil tankers previously in Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer, in a bid to protest environmental concerns.

Maitar said by telephone that Greenpeace was using three rubber boats for the protest and said an activist was climbing onto the anchor of the ship Gran Couve to try and stop it departing.

Port administration officials in Dumai contacted by Reuters could not immediately confirm whether the ships were blocked.

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