In the latest episode of “Talking Trade,” Global Lite Refinery CEO Sahr Lebbie discusses how he launched a palm oil refinery in Sierra Leone from his corporate base in Milwaukee. 

He shares details on the history of the business, as well as challenges he overcame on that journey. 

“One of the reasons why myself, as many other students that came to the United States to study, was in search of better opportunities,” he said. “So ultimately, when I came and I noticed some of the opportunities that the United States provides, as long as you work hard, I was able to utilize that.” 

Lebbie says he hasn’t established a “fixed market” in the United States yet, but he’s getting “a lot of attention” from parts of Europe and Asia. He notes palm oil is used in many industries, ranging from food production to pharmaceuticals and manufacturing other products. 

“There’s a high demand for it in Europe, there’s a high demand for it in Asia — China, India, etcetera — I also believe the United States has a high demand for it, but I have not been able to fully incorporate the companies that utilize it,” he said. 

The refinery business is a subsidiary of Global Lite, which is also involved in home and hospice care, maritime transport and real estate development, according to the company’s website. Its Sierra Leone presence includes a 120,000-square-foot space and 300 acres of land. 

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