Soltai to Expand Production

Tri Marine Increases Production from Solomons Islands Tuna Plant


Noro, Solomon Islands— Solomon Islands canned tuna will once again be available in Europe after the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Soltai Fishing & Processing Company and Tri Marine International, at Noro on Wednesday last week. Tri Marine is a major supplier of tuna and processed tuna products to Europe and is steadily increasing its supply to that market.

Under the terms of the MOU, Tri Marine will supply Soltai with the necessary equipment to process tuna into catering sized cans for the European market. The MOU also provides for an increase in the production of tuna loins for the European market. Under a current agreement, Soltai has been producing loins for the European market since 2004.

The reintroduction of canned tuna products for Europe and the increase in loin production will see Soltai initially increasing its processing significantly in 2006, with further increases in production as logistical constraints are overcome. Most of the raw material for processing into loins and cans will be supplied by NFD.

Managing Director Milton Sibisopere and Rick Heroux After signing the MOU on behalf of Soltai, the company's Managing Director Milton Sibisopere thanked Tri Marine for demonstrating confidence in Soltai by supplying the necessary equipment under arrangement, and looked forward to working closely with Tri Marine to ensure the project was successful. In signing and responding for Tri Marine the

Company's senior executive for Processed Products, Rick Heroux thanked Soltai and expressed his confidence in Soltai's technical team who will be largely responsible for implementing the project.

Mr. Heroux and Mr. Sibisopere agreed that the European Union will be the most important export market for Soltai. It is vital that the Solomon Island Government do everything possible to establish an EU recognized Competent Sanitary Authority without further delay. Without such Competent Authority, Soltai production will be denied access to the valuable EU market. An EU funded team is presently in Solomons working on this matter.

When the increased loining and canning production commences in the second half of 2006, the Soltai workforce is expected to increase by some two hundred employees, mostly females.

Background on Tri Marine

Tri Marine is a tuna supply company with focus on supply of tuna and tuna products to the leading brands of tuna. It has offices in 14 countries and processing activities in plants located strategically around the world. Its tuna purse seiners operate in the Western Pacific and the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Tri Marine was formed in Singapore in 1972. Since then the company has grown to be one of the largest tuna supply companies in the world. Tri Marine is privately owned.