New concept in fish processing to undergo trial by fire
THE directors and staff contingent of the brand new Seaflower Pelagic Processing fish factory are eagerly awaiting the first catch to land on the jetty in Walvis Bay to prove the success in their new concept in fish processing and marketing.
The giant new land based factory that was constructed and fitted at a cost of N$530 million represents the single biggest investment in the Namibian fishing industry in recent history.
The vertically integrated approach of Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty) Ltd. to the way fish will be caught, processed and sold is set to dramatically change the industry landscape, as well as the way in which business is conducted with this precious Namibian resource.
Unlike other fish processing factories that are often owned by international or foreign companies and often operated at sea, the new processing facilities that rose out of the ground in the Walvis Bay fishing harbour over the past year and half, has the built-in capacity to produce frozen horse mackerel in various different formats that is custom designed for the local market and markets beyond Namibia’s borders.
According to Adolf Burger, Managing Director of the African Selection Fishing Namibia company, which holds a 60% share in Seaflower Pelagic Processing, the new factory is currently the largest frozen pelagic fish processing plant in Sub-Saharan Africa and will make use of several new technological and environmentally friendly innovations never before seen on Namibian shores when catches are processed.
“The introduction of new and innovative technology was done to save costs. At full capacity the new factory will need about one and a half times the total electricity consumed in Walvis Bay so we had to make use of innovative new technology to not only mitigate costs but to ensure savings on electricity and fresh water consumption,” he said.
Every aspect of fish processing will be done on land in the processing facility that covers 14 000 square metres under its roof. All parts of the fish landed will be utilised to minimise wastage.
Seaflower Pelagic Processing is expected to land its first catch this morning and the processing of the fish caught will serve as proof of concept and to test if all the installed systems in the factory and freezing facilities are ready for the fishing season that lies ahead.