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Fish processing capacity to reach 250 tonnes with 2 new factories

China's Dongfang Electric International has been awarded a contract of USD 175 million for the project to increase the capacity of the Felivaru fish processing factory and build additional factories on two islands.

Hanaan Hussain
15 April 2024, MVT 10:58
Hanaan Hussain
15 April 2024, MVT 10:58

Under this project, the factory in Lhaviyani atoll Felivaru will be upgraded to process an additional 100 tons of fish. A factory is also planned for the island of Dhaalu atoll Maadheli with a processing capacity of 50 tons, and another factory in Gaaf Dhaalu atoll Fiyoaree will be developed to process 100 tons of fish. The project is being undertaken on a contractor finance basis.

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu signed off on the project during his state visit to China, with the loan to further improve the Maldives' fish processing capacity to be arranged at a concessional or low interest rate.

The project to enhance fish processing capacity at the Lh. Felivaru factory by an additional 100 tons is expected to cost USD 50 million to complete. The factory planned for Dh. Maadheli will be able to process 50 tons of fish with an additional 1,500 tons of cold storage and a fishing harbor to be built under the development project, which is expected to cost somewhere between USD 75 - 100 million to complete. The factory to be built at GDh. Fiyoaree comes with a 100 ton fish processing capacity and 3,000 tons of cold storage, with the estimated cost at USD 50 - 75 million.

Speaking at a special event held regarding the project on Sunday, Minister for Fisheries and Ocean Resources Ahmed Shiyam revealed that the government is working to increase exports of fish processed in the Maldives as opposed to exporting just chilled or frozen fish. Minister Shiyam added that this project would help the government achieve this goal early on in their term.

The facilities at Lh. Felivaru have fallen into disrepair and do not function at full capacity

Forecasting a timeline for completion of the factory development projects, Minister Shiyam stated that the aim was to have the factories up and running to process fish within the next 18 months. He added that despite 40 long years in operation, the capacity of the fish processing factory at Lh. Felivaru remained capped at 50 tons, and that due to the dilapidated condition of facilities on site, the factory was only able to process 40 tons of fish at this time.

"Out of the 128,000 metric tons of fish caught in Maldives, we are exporting 63,000 metric tons as raw, unprocessed fish due to the lack of capacity within the state-owned Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO)," said Minister Shiyam.


The Fisheries Minister also revealed that while the Maldives was able to generate an income of about USD 91 million from the export of raw fish, the value generated from the sale would double if they were able to process the fish prior to export.

"With the Memorandum of Understanding signed today, we are doubling the income value," said Minister Shiyam. "We estimate that we can make about USD 180 million from this, and if so, we will be making a huge contribution to state revenue."

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