Pescanova aquaculture project at Mira plant. (Photo: Pescanova)
Turbot plant in Portugal becomes a dilemma for Pescanova
Friday, June 20, 2014, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Pescanova multinational firm and creditor banks have to decide whether to keep the turbot macro-plant located in Mira, Portugal, or not, since it is undergoing the urgent need to have working capital.
According to sources linked to the Galician company, some EUR 50 million would initially be needed to rescue the aquaculture factory in Portugal and maintain the activity.
The total debt faced by the Portuguese aquaculture plant reaches about EUR 200 million, the newspaper Faro de Vigo reported.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese entities -- which have the assets and shares of Acuinova Firsh farming Activities under pledging agreement – are only thinking about selling Europe’s largest turbot plant and rejecting the possibility of restructuring its financial debt.
The aquaculture plants are essential for the future Nueva Pescanova, mainly those farming vannamei shrimp, which are in Central America.
However, a factory as that in Mira requires a lot of money and working capital to be operated and to feed the fish. Besides, it needs a breeding centre for fry, which are then moved to big tanks for the fattening process.
According to some entrepreneurs in the sector, the business is "really risky" because the plant in Mira has already experienced two serious accidents, which caused the death of all the fish.
The Portuguese entities themselves admit that it is possible to reach agreements with prospective plant owners from Mira, who could be Stolt Sea Farm or the businessperson Américo Amorim.
Between 2007 and 2013, Pescanova invested approximately EUR 203 million in aquaculture projects in the Iberian peninsula, Deloitte stated.
According to the latest data available, 38 per cent of Pescanova’s turbot production remains in Spain, while 29 per cent is exported to Italy.
If Nueva Pescanova does not have the plant in Mira, the turbot fattening, breeding and production processes would be taken over by Insuiña, with plants in Oia, O Grove and Xove. In addition, Pescafresca will be the subsidiary in charge of most of the fishery product marketing.
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By Analia Murias