STP cannery plans move forward
As reported at the end of May, Samoa Tuna Processors (STP) received the Army Corps of Engineers permit to build the seawall and small vessel dock at STP. The mandated transplantation of corals and seagrass has been completed and the engineering firm is on site to begin construction of this critical component of the project.
We are very pleased to announce that STP received financing from GE Capital to complete funding of this major project. This is yet another sign of the commitment of Tri Marine to the Territory and tuna processing in American Samoa. It is also a sign of the confidence of the financial community for our vision to grow and support the economy and tuna industry here.
Major progress has been made on the Fresh and Frozen processing facility with the completion of the refurbishment of the building. Major equipment components, which have been ordered, still need to be installed. The expected completion date for this part of the project is the end of December. This work has been performed by Paramount Builders who are now also working extensively on the tuna processing part of the project.
We are also extremely pleased to announce the launch of our new brand of canned tuna in the US market. Ocean Naturals brand canned Skipjack tuna in Water is in nation-wide distribution at all Walmart stores. It is packed from sustainably caught skipjack, packed in water with salt added. There are no additives. Please check out our website at www.oceannaturals.com. While this product is currently being co-packed for Tri Marine, it will be produced in American Samoa as soon as the Samoa Tuna Processors tuna cannery is up and running.
The new 5,000 ton capacity cold store has been in continuous operation since opening in April in support of the locally based fleets of purse seiners and longliners as well as the StarKist cannery. Since the initial opening we have continued to receive the balance of the new fish boxes and the automatic sizing and loading equipment has been received and commissioned. The ability to unload fish directly from the catcher vessels to the cold store is without equal anywhere in the world.
Tri Marine and Samoa Tuna Processors would like to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate StarKist Foods on the momentous occasion of 50 years of continuous operation in the Territory. Tri Marine and STP look forward to continuing to support them as a supplier and as a good neighbor.
The achievements of StarKist are an opportunity to highlight some key factors and additional challenges for the growth of the industry in American Samoa. We recognize that the development of the tuna industry in American Samoa and its continued success depends on a long list of factors that required many years to develop in the Territory. It is much more than just one or two canneries. We thank the many contributors to the success of tuna canning in American Samoa. This begins with the skilled workforce that have for generations provided the labor and expertise necessary. The American Samoa Government, including ASPA, has been a constant supporter of the industry and the Companies who have operated here. The freight and stevedoring companies, can makers, fuel suppliers, contractors, suppliers and service industries have all developed and are key to making the industry competitive in the Territory.
The supply of fish is critical. We are very concerned about the economic viability of the local longline fleet who must compete with foreign vessels that in many cases receive significant subsidies that lower their cost of operation. Tri Marine and Samoa Tuna Processors would very much like to see the local fleet prosper and grow. The local infrastructure that supports the fishing vessels based here is key. The shipyard and net yards are extremely important to maintaining the fleet’s ability to operate and must be supported and expanded. In this regard Tri Marine is pleased to announce that one of its purse seiners, the Cape Cod completed its dry docking at the Ronald Reagan Marine Railway in Satala on Thursday of this week.
Once again, the management and staff of Samoa Tuna Processors and all of Tri Marine worldwide are very eager to complete the work underway at the facility in Atu’u and to participate in the growth of tuna industry in and the economy of American Samoa.
Background on STP and Tri Marine
Samoa Tuna Processors is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tri Marine Group of Companies. Tri Marine’s business includes fishing, procurement, processing and trading of tuna and other seafood products. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Tri Marine has offices in 14 countries and processing plants located strategically around the world. Its fleets of tuna purse seiners and Pole and Line vessels operate in the Western Pacific. Tri Marine was founded in Singapore in 1971 as a base for albacore tuna. Since then it has grown to be one of the largest tuna supply companies in the world and it provides an efficient, cost effective and flexible supply chain solution for its customers.
Tri Marine International is very pleased to provide this update on our activities at Samoa Tuna Processors, Inc. in Atu’u Village.
Visit us at www.trimarinegroup.com
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