Two local fishing companies have entered into a joint venture agreement with a prominent South Korean firm that is set to inject N$90 million into the construction of storage facilities at the harbour town.
Atlantic Crab Namibia is a joint venture between two Namibian crab right-holding companies, Aquamarine Fishing Company and Tukondja Trading Enterprises, as well Insung Corporation from South Korea.
The Namibian companies hold a 51 percent stake in the partnership, with the remaining 49 percent held by Insung.
The local subsidiary, Insung Namibia, held a groundbreaking ceremony in Walvis Bay last month, where it announced they will invest N$90 million in the construction of a cold storage facility, that will be carried out in two phases.
The first phase involves the construction of a cannery and processing unit, fish cold storage and office blocks, followed by phase two, that will include the construction of meat dairy cold storage and a dry storage facilities.
The parent company, Insung Korea is involved in processing, refrigeration, trading, distribution and other fisheries, as well as the poultry industry in South Korea.
Insung was established in 1968 and is one of the five largest fishing companies in South Korea, with 18 vessels at its disposal. It is also the first Korean company to venture into the Namibian fishing industry.
“It is not per accident that we landed in Namibia. We have studied the African markets and were looking for countries that are stable and peaceful and we realised that Namibia as a suitable investment destination,” said Atlantic Crab Namibia Managing Director Pilar Veiga at the recent groundbreaking ceremony.
“The type of investment we are earmarking is one of the biggest ever to be made in Namibia in cold storage and processing facilities,” he said.
In 2013, Insung Namibia acquired a 10,000 square metre plot from the Municipality of Walvis Bay. “This was done without any commitment from the Namibian companies. That in itself shows that we are here to stay,” Veiga said.
“We are ready to invest approximately N$90 million in the envisaged facility, consisting of a cannery and processing plant, the fish cold storage and a block of offices, as the first stage, and thereafter as a second and final stage the construction of the meat and dairy products cold storage together with dry storage,” he added.
Local companies and materials will be sourced in the building of a state-of-the-art facility, which will create over 200 jobs, Veiga said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Fisheries Minister Bernhardt Esau, lauded the partnership, saying the ownership structure is in line with government policies: “On this note the ministry will still drive the policy of Namibianisation of our fishing industry, whereby the control of ownership is vested in the hands of local citizens.”