An investment by United Fish Industries (UFI) and the Pelagia Group of €30 million has seen one of the iconic fish processing plants in Killybegs being totally redeveloped and reconstructed into one of the most modern Marine Ingredient plants in the world.
The transformation of the plant was a unique complex design and build project as it essentially involved constructing a new factory on the existing site while maintaining production throughout the project.
The rebuilt and redesigned plant now houses state of the art Steam Generation, Production processes, Waste Heat Evaporative capacity, Computer control systems and Environmental Control systems.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed, TD officially opened the new plant on Monday during an event organised by UFI where national suppliers of raw materials from the processing and catching sectors, residents, representatives from the Department of the Marine, Donegal TD’s and local area county councillors were given a tour of the new facility.
General Manager of UFI, Frank Trearty said: “The redevelopment of the Killybegs plant took significant planning as essentially the old factory was demolished and a new one rebuilt during two phases, while the plant still took in raw materials and provided a service to the fishing industry.
“The flexibility and ingenuity of our staff in the plant and wider group were central to this successful process. Sourcing the most efficient and reliable equipment was key to the redevelopment to create processing and engineering systems that will be highly energy efficient with lower (CO2 emissions).
“We have installed the most up to date systems in the plant and redesigned the look of the old plant into a truly modern facility enhancing the reputation of Killybegs as Ireland’s premier fishing port. The look and feel of the plant has been radically transformed with the removal of old silos and tanks creating a modern plant on entry and exit to Killybegs.”
The Board of the Pelagia Group flew in from Norway for the opening and members of this board who signed off on the multi million investment include some of the global leaders in Salmon farming and fish processing. The Board wished to thank Suppliers, Staff, Regulators and local people who have supported the Killybegs business.
Speaking at the opening, COO of Pelagia Feed, Arnt Ove Hoddevik said: “Of the 26 facilities of the Pelagia Group, UFI Killybegs is located in a key and central position in the group’s holdings on the western seaboard of Europe. The investment is an indicator of the group’s continuing commitment to Ireland and the growth of its Feed Division.”
History and employment
Originally built in 1957, the plant has been central to the fish processing industry of Killybegs and over the years has made some notable advances in processing as they were the first to investigate the processing of Boarfish as an emerging raw material in 2005.
The plant employs 36 people and during the redevelopment and rebuild over 200 people were employed on site as part of the works which enhanced many businesses in the town. The company have also been strong supporters of local initiatives and charities.