FIJI: Pacific American Fish Company Inc. (PAFCO) has opened its USD 16.4 million new cold storage facility in Levuka, on the southeast coast of Ovalau Island.
This new facility will make it possible for the company to bolster its storage capacity as it will increase the amount of raw tuna it can hold from 3,000 to 4,000 metric tonnes.
The plant opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, who pointed out that with this new facility PAFCO is expected to increase production by 10 per cent each year.
The Prime Minister stressed that the normal daily production is 80 metric tonnes, or, in terms of whole fish, around 6,400 fish per day but with more fish in stock, PAFCO will be able to increase production.
Bainimarama explained that the cost of maintaining the old cold storage facility, averaging around USD 100,000 each year, will now be a thing of the past.
These cost savings, paired with the financial benefits of increased production and more efficient storage, will be felt at every level of the company, as PAFCO will be in a better position to invest back into its infrastructure and its people, creating even more jobs for the people of Lomaiviti.
Bainimarama also acknowledged US based Bumble Bee Foods for their trust in extending their processing agreement for the next decade.
Finally, the Prime Minister also highlighted that much like Fiji Pine, Fiji Airways and Fiji Airports, PAFCO has transformed a loss of USD 4.3 million in 2011 to five years of positive financial gains, with USD 1.8-million profit recorded last year.
More than a thousand Fijians are employed by PAFCO.