The Elmina Fish Processing Plant has been officially handed over to a Ghanaian management firm, Raphael Spectrum Company Ltd.
The facility was constructed by Expotec International Ltd of India at a cost of US$ 7.48 million with funding from the EXAM Bank of India.
The inauguration and handing over ceremony was done at Elmina on Tuesday by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye.
Addressing the chiefs and people of Elmina, the Minister reiterated that the plant, among other fishing projects by government, is a strategically carved project meant “to improve on the well-being of our fishing communities by creating the enabling environment that will create jobs and wealth for themselves, their children and dependents in particular and for others in general”.
In November 2016, former President John Dramani Mahama commissioned the facility. However, Tuesday’s programme was meant to seal the private-public-partnership arrangement in which the private firm is to take over the management of the facility.
Also in the arrangement, Raphael Spectrum Company Ltd is to partner experts of the Indian firm, Fish Post Harvest Technology, for a six month supervisory period, after which the Ghanaian firm will assume full management.
Speaking to Citi News, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Raphael Spectrum Company Ltd, Raphael Tackley Antiaye, explained, “The Plant has three processing outlets: we have the ice processing plant” which is for “those who go for fishing for about one or two weeks who need the ice, so that when they catch the fish, they break the ice to store the fish” in their canoes on the sea.
“The second part is the fish processing. It is a diverse unit. It is for cleaning and repacking the fish. A third part is after the processing, the head, gill, intestines and other parts of the fish are all rich in protein, and we will mix that protein with corn, beans and others to produce the aquaculture feed, and if the demand is there, we can go in for poultry feed as well”, he added.
The Plant is expected to serve as a huge market for Ghanaian fishermen when they catch the fish, thereby curbing the problem of post-harvest losses faced by local fishermen.
On reliable electricity for the plant, the CEO revealed that plans are far advanced to install solar panels as a backup to the national grid the facility is hooked on.