In 2008 the Parliament of Liberia gave Equatorial Palm Oil three concessions for 50 years between Buchanan and Greenville, totaling 169,000 ha (7 years of rehabilitation followed by 43 years, starting in 2015, of operations). In February 2011, the companys Liberian palm-oil plantations and assets (under the company Equatorial Biofuels Limited) were incorporated into a 50-50 joint venture with Liberian Palm Developments Limited and Biopalm Energy Energy, a Singaporean company controlled by Indian billionaire C. Sivasankaran (SIVA group), which has recently acquired other large-scale palm-oil concessions in Cameroon and Sierra Leone. The company cleared 34,398 hectares of land for the development of oil palms, pushing many smallholders off their land in 2011 with the planting of the first new oil palms.
Upon finding their farms bulldozed, gravesites desecrated, and further project construction, citizens lodged complaints of polluted drinking water and lack of social agreement or MoU. Nine workers were arrested in a strike/protest-turned riot in April of 2013 when 250 workers claimed they were not paid. The riot resulted in 700 burned trees, arson, and crippled machinery.
ENO began expansion into district four in Grand Bassa County in Spring 2013. in August 2013 local governments urged their citizens to obstruct resurveys needed for continued expansion. A fact-finding team discovered EPO had refused to adhere to its corporate social commitments, which has triggered the dispute between the company and the locals. The district youth council has ordered EPO halt its extension program, and has asked the County Legislative Caucus for urgent intervention.