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Majestic Seafood’s new K85 million (US$38 million) tuna processing facility at Malahang in Lae will be commissioned next month by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Plant manager Ronel Paredes put June 10 as the official opening date after being given the approval by the Morobe building board’s senior building inspector Jacob Kumsoro yesterday.
Kumsoro said the facility had met all safety, sanitation and waste disposal requirements.
Engineering manager Edwin Mendoza said the Malahang cannery was a state of the art tuna processing facility and boasted the most advanced waste disposal management system.
He said waste from the processing plant went through a vigorous water treatment regime closely monitored by a computerised system.
“The water that will be released from the treatment wells will be completely safe and odorless,”Mendoza said.
Plant manager Paredes said at optimal production the facility would employ 2,000 workers and process 350 tonnes of fresh tuna making it the largest in the country.
That volume is eight times bigger than sister company Frabelle’s 40-tonne production and twice more than Madang-based RD Tuna cannery’s 150-tonne production.
Paredes said they were awaiting approval from the National Fisheries Authority before they secured the lucrative tuna markets in the European Union.
Meanwhile, the K1 billion Madang industrial project will be built soon to create 20,000 jobs once completed, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru says.
He said the project was important to the country because of its sustainability, export value and job creation for locals.
Maru said the three parties who had objected to the project were in court yesterday to withdraw their objections.
“The lawyers are in court now (yesterday) for the three plaintiffs to withdraw the case so the government can move ahead with the construction phase of the very important project.
“During a recent trip to Philippines, I was told by some big tuna companies that they estimated that PNG exports around US$ 2 billion worth of unprocessed tuna to Philippines and Thailand and some of the biggest tuna factories in the world.
“We are losing in terms of export value up to K20 billion or more.
“The Madang Industrial Park has an export value of between K10 billion to K20 billion if we process our own fish and can create 20,000 jobs plus.
“This is combining all jobs in the mining and petroleum sectors.
“The mining and petroleum sector directly does not employ many.
“The Madang Industrial park development is a sustainable project provided we don’t over-fish.”.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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