International investment fund to open 'unrivalled' African fish factory

The new facility in Senegal has developed a new way to produce surimi from cheaper and more abundant grey fish.

A high-tech fish factory to be opened in Senegal later this year is set to become the first facility producing surimi in Africa, according to investment and development fund Hermes-Sojitz.

The new factory, due to open later in 2014, will utilise specialist knowledge to employ novel technologies which could significantly increase profitability, said the investment fund.

Indeed, representatives of the fund revealed that together with their partners they have developed a method of making surimi from cheaper, although nonetheless nutritious, ‘grey’ varieties of fish. The technology has already been successfully implemented by Karelian Industrial Complex, they said - noting that the traditional method of manufacturing surimi uses only white varieties of fish.

However, the tightening of fishing quotas and migration of fish to hard-to-reach areas have affected the price of the final product, said release from Hermes-Sojitz. Such issues have meant that the rapid growth of surimi production has been prevented in many areas of the world - despite strong potential for growth.

"Under such circumstances, the only thing manufacturers can do to cut costs is relocate their factories closer to steadily yielding fish resources and introduce novelty technologies to optimize the process of manufacture," said Hermes-Sojitz.

"This makes the suggested technology a very useful and up-to-date know-how if not a breakthrough."

African potential

According to the investment fund, the African continent has a great potential in the area of surimi production thanks to its rich fish resources. In addition, expert analysis of the surimi market has suggested a supply deficiency of up to 15%, it said.

As a result, several fish factories are expected to be built in different African countries in the future. Hermes-Sojitz said while many other factories are planned for the future, its will be launched in the coming months.

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