ECUADOR :Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries Katuska Drouet toured the construction of the new automated plant in Durán for the production of shrimp balanced feed carried out by the multinational corporation Cargill and the Ecuadorian Naturisa.
The industrial facility requires a USD 60 million investment in infrastructure and equipment and is expected to come into operation in the last quarter of this year.
During the visit, the minister and the project officials exchanged opinions regarding the support policies to the productive sector carried out by the administration of President Lenin Moreno and the potential of the shrimp sector, which in the first quarter recorded a growth of 16.7 per cent, almost nine per cent more than the country's overall growth rate. Exports totalled USD 1,071 million between January and April this year.
The delegation visited the facilities of what will be the administrative offices, storage warehouse and the processing plant, where the automated machinery and equipment control centre are installed. Cargill and Naturisa plan to start up the plant in the last quarter of the year, for which they estimate an additional investment of USD 20 million as working capital.
Drouet stressed the importance of the work, since it contributes to the development of the sector and of the country.
"This investment is a win for all, soon the aquaculture sector will have the largest processing plant in the country and this will generate more production and employment," she said.
Sergio Suarez, president of Cargill Ecuador, said that the support of the national government has been key to start the project. "This is a plant that has state-of-the-art technology. The idea is not only to provide the product but to give technical advice to the aquaculture sector, who are our direct customers," he said.
The processing plant is being built on 6.6 hectares at kilometre 6.5 of the Durán-Tambo road. It will have a structure of seven floors and capacity to produce 165,000 tonnes of shrimp feed per year. Cargill plans to open 180 job places.