Westfleet goes to tender for multi-million dollar factory
Embargo 12 noon, 21 December 2012
Westfleet goes to tender for new multi-million dollar factory
Greymouth seafood company Westfleet is celebrating Christmas with the announcement of a proposed multi- million dollar investment in a new fish processing factory.
A 3,000 square metre facility will ensure the fish caught off the West Coast can be processed locally and delivers on Westfleet co-owner and Managing Director, Craig Boote’s commitment to help boost the local economy.
Craig says approval by the company’s Board of Directors to go to tender and seek construction partners for the project represents a vital step forward.
“This is all about West Coast fish being processed by Coasters. We are delivering on a promise to invest in the business in a way that helps stimulate the local economy,” he said.
The proposed development follows the recent investment of $14.5 million to purchase an additional vessel and acquire quota. Westleet’s significant growth over the last six years includes an increase in quota from 800 tonnes to 3600 tonnes, additional vessels, the construction of a new 120 meter wharf and a new retail fresh fish shop for Greymouth.
Westfleet is a joint venture between Boote and Sealord. It supplies Ling, Hapuka and Bluenose to the Australian market and Monkfish, Gurnard and Terakihi to wholesalers, retailers and food service businesses in New Zealand.
The company also has Hoki quota and the current factory, built in the 1950’s and converted for fish processing in the 1970’s is unable to manage all of the fish caught. Currently, this means fish is processed outside of Greymouth.
“The sustainability of the Hoki and all other stocks in Area 7, gives me great confidence and the investment in the new factory means we can keep the processing right here,” says Craig.
The new factory will be located on a 5,000 square metre piece of land north of and adjacent to the existing Westfleet factory . It will process both fresh and frozen seafood products.
Full working drawings will be completed early next year and the construction project will go to tender in March.
“We are hoping to find a local West Coast or Canterbury main contractor and the plan is to begin building in April or May and have our new facility up and running 12 to 14 months later,” says Craig.
On the subject of local jobs, he hopes the construction phase will provide a boost to the local job market.
“Transferring our existing skilled and loyal employees to the new factory will be our first priority, but I believe additional job opportunities are likely,” he says.