Fish factories to be constructed on three islands

China's Dongfang Electric International Corporation has been awarded a contract to construct three state-of-the-art fish processing plants in the Maldives.

Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam signed the agreement on behalf of the Maldives government at a ceremony held on Sunday.

Under the agreement, factories will be built in Lh. Felivaru, Dh. Maadheli and GDh. Fiyoaree.

Minister Shiyam said although Felivaru currently has the capacity to process 50 tonnes of fish, only 40 tonnes of fish are being processed. However, the new factory to be built in Felivaru will have the capacity to process 100 tonnes of fish, he said. The new Felivaru factory is an investment of $50 million.

Under the project, a 50-tonne fish processing plant and a 1,500-tonne cold storage will be built on Maadheli island. The cost of the facility is estimated to be close to $100 million.

Similarly, in Fiyoaree, a 3,000-tonne cold storage unit and a 100-tonne fish processing plant will be built. The project is estimated to cost about MVR 75 million.

Dongfang has been granted an 18-month timeline to execute and operationalize these facilities.

Minister Shiyam said Maldives currently earns an average of $91 million from fish exports. However, with the operation of the new factories, a doubling of this figure is anticipated.