High-tech fish factory set for Africa

A NEW, state-of-the art fish factory – in which the owners boast of ‘unrivalled technology’ is set to open in Senegal.
The venture is being launched by Direct Investments fund Hermes-Sojitz and will be the first high-tech factory producing surimi (special fish paste) in Africa.
The African continent has a great potential in this area. An expert analysis of the surimi market has revealed a supply deficiency of up to 15 per cent.
Few manufacturers dare deal with surimi, as the production technology is difficult and demanding. A one-degree variation in the temperature of water used for washing the raw stuff may affect the final product immensely.
Besides, surimi is normally made from fresh fish. However, there are several factories in the world, which have made it to producing surimi from frozen fish: this technology is employed in Canada and Russia. Nevertheless, high-quality surimi is made from fresh fish only.
Africa is rich in fish resources and can undoubtedly become a strong rival on the surimi market. Several fish factories are expected to be built in different African countries.
However, it is only Hermes-Sojitz, an international fund, that claims its fish factory will be launched soon.
The company’s specialists are going to employ novelty technologies at the Senagalese factory, which is supposed to significantly increase profitability of the manufacture.
Representatives of the fund comment that, together with their partners, they have invented a method of making surimi from cheaper, although nonetheless nutritious, ‘grey’ variety of fish.
The technology has been successfully implemented by Karelian Industrial Complex. It should be noted that the ‘traditional’ method of manufacture uses only ‘white’ varieties of fish.
However, tightening of fishing quotas and migration of fish to hard-to-reach areas affect the price of the final product.
Since surimi is actually the raw stuff for other products, such as imitation crab sticks and a number of national dishes in Asia, the price issue has a direct impact upon profitability of the entire business.
This makes the suggested technology a very useful and up-to-date know-how if not a breakthrough.
Since the global surimi consumption is 1.5 million tonnes per year and experts claim lack of manufacturers, new players are sure to come to the market soon.
The interest in this sphere increases as the demand grows, spurred by the growth of population in Asia, the major consumer of this product.
However, the reducing global fish resources prevent the industry from rapid development. For instance, poor catch urged a number of manufacturers in Chile to rethink their businesses.
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 optimise the process of manufacture.