IOT to use €60m to improve company


Guests and visitors are guided on a tour of the factory during yesterday’s open day at the IOT

The company – which is forced to employ 65% of its 2,421 strong workforce from overseas – plans to build €14 million house blocks for expatriates in conjunction with the government from which it will rent the accommodation.

At the moment the company houses its foreign staff in quarters rented from private firms and individuals.
The IOT will spend €25 million in a cold storage project and €10 million for solar panels.

“The company will invest an annual average of €4m to improve recoveries, efficiency, productivity, quality and safety,” said Mr Madnack during IOT’s open day by which it marked the Productivity awareness week.

Among those present to hear his presentation were the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development Idith Alexander, Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly David Pierre, members of the assembly and top government officials and students.

He traced the company’s history to when it reached an all time high production in 2007 when it canned 92,000 tonnes of tuna to last year’s level of 71,000 tonnes to which it has been forced to cut down due to factors that have affected production like market prices, reduced fish availability due to piracy and climate changes which he said forced the factory to close down for 13 days last year.

The IOT represents 95% of Seychelles manufacturing exports and 46% of imports.

It has a current daily throughput of 340 tonnes and is outputing 1.6 million cans daily.
Mr Madnack named some of the challenges the company faces as high working capital due to location, high utility prices, with the cost of electricity being more than three times paid by factories in competing countries and water which costs five times more.

“Labour costs are also much higher than for other tuna producing countries due to logistics, travel and housing,” he said, citing a high level of absenteeism among workers which stands at 12.76% for locals, 5.45 % among expatriates.

He said current prices make it difficult to penetrate other markets like the US and the Middle East.
Mr Madnack said the company aims to “make the best recoveries and achieve maximum yields from the fish and other materials it processes, while using electricity, fuel and water as efficiently as possible and use the best technology to maintain the highest product quality.

“We also plan to optimise the value of our by-products such as fish meal and oil,” he said, explaining there is a demand for oil generated from fish processing, which he said can be used to make medicine.

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