Tri Marine, Maersk joint venture to expand Solomon Islands port for tuna exports
Tri Marine and Maersk have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) to expand the Port of Noro to allow it to accommodate greater tuna offloading and exporting.
The deal is expected to increase the volume of reefer containers originating from the Port of Noro, SIPA CEO Eranda Kotelawala told The Solomon Star.
“The MoU will also assist the Port of Noro transform into a regional export hub in the Pacific,” Kotelawala said.
Tri Marine owns SolTuna, a tuna processing company in Noro, in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. SolTuna processes between 25,000 and 30,000 metric tons of skipjack and yellowfin annually, and exports to Europe and throughout the Pacific region. Tri Marine also operates a tuna pole-and-line fleet and a purse-seine fleet in the waters of the Solomon Islands.
With its signing of the MOU, Tri Marine has committed to bring more fishing vessels for off-loading to the Port of Noro, according to Kotelawala. The agreement will also see Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, provide the port two fish off-loaders in addition to workforce training.
“This will let exporters get competitive shipping rates to export their products to the rest of the world,” Kotelawala said.