The state-owned fish company, Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), has handed over the operation of 14 ice plants to Fenaka Corporation Limited.
At a ceremony held at the head office of Fenaka corporation, Managing Director Ahmed Saeed Mohamed and MIFCO's Managing Director Ismail Fauzee signed the agreement on behalf of their respective companies.
At the ceremony, Saeed said many people are asking about the change that will come when MIFCO hands over the operation and maintenance of the ice plants and that the company's purpose is to build the trust and confidence of fishermen.
He said the ice plants in various parts of the country were damaged and major repairs are required which will cost an estimate of MVR 20 million.
Saeed said Fenaka wants to run the ice plants on solar or other green energy in the future, which will in turn reduce the price of ice for fishermen.
"We will try to supply ice continuously from the plants according to capacity. The main task of the first phase will be the repairs. First, we will establish a mechanism to operate the plants within 24 hours," he said.
Fenaka has also introduced an ice supply application that can be used by fishermen. Using the application, they can determine the availability of ice from ice plants in different regions.
Saeed said the ice plants would be operated closely with the fishermen and their opinions would be sought to make the service better.
MIFCO Managing Director Fauzee said the company operates 22 ice plants to supply ice to fishermen. Noting that the ice plants are operating at a loss, he said he would work to ensure that the existing ice plants at MIFCO will operate at a standard level in the future.
"About 830 tonnes of ice is produced daily. We are also facing challenges in ice production due to fluctuations in world oil prices. Fuel accounts for 70 per cent of this operation," Fauzee said.
Fauzee said he hopes that the ice plants will operate more efficiently once they are handed over to Fenaka.