Tuna plant deal signed

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 24th of September, 2014


THE Chinese company, Hailisheng Group (PNG) Ltd and the Government have finally signed an agreement to set up a US$22 million (K53.73 million) on-shore tuna processing facility in Lae, Morobe.

Two previous attempts to sign the agreement had to be aborted after public servants failed to turn up at Government House.

Fisheries Minister Mao Zeming said the project at Malahang was expected to generate US$65 million (K158.75 million) annually in export sales.

He said the facility at Malahang would have an estimated production capacity of 120 metric tonnes per day. This is expected to increase to 300 metric tonnes per day, providing 1200 direct jobs and 1000 indirect ones for locals.

“We would like to encourage our investors to go into downstream businesses so that it can help our domestic processing, so that fish that comes out of our exclusive economic zone and the archipelagic waters have maximum benefit to our people,” he said.

“Hailisheng will invest substantial amount and this facility when in full capacity will earn US$65 million in the export market per annum.”

 He said the European Union remained PNG’s main market. 

“We recently had some issues with EU regarding yellow flagging because of our weakness to implement some of the stringent (EU) regulations,” he said.

“The NFA is already reviewing the fisheries and management development plans, fisheries policies and looking at the Act of 1998.

“We want to show them that we are complying with measures so that our market in EU is secure.” 

Morobe Governor Kelly Naru thanked the Group for its confidence in investing in the province.

He said four tuna processing plants were already established – IFC, Frabelle, Nambawan Seafood and Majestic Seafood.

“We are expecting more investors to Morobe, it is healthy for the economy and we will make sure this 

project gets off the ground,” Naru said.

Hailisheng Group’s vice president Jiabin Wang said work on the project should start in the next six months.