Fire destroys Multiexport-Blumar processing plant, cause being investigated

A photo of the Entrevientos salmon processing on fire.

Officials are investigating the cause of a fire in southern Chile that destroyed the Entrevientos salmon processing plant, which is jointly owned by salmon farmers Multiexport and Blumar.

The fire at the plant, located in Punta Arenas, in Chile’s Magallanes Region, began the morning of 11 February. Seven of Punta Arenas’s eight fire stations – representing 95 percent of the city’s fire fighters – responded to the emergency and were able to extinguish the fire at around 2 p.m. local time, national television station TVN reported. As a preventative measure, authorities ordered the evacuation of 10 homes near the plant, but no damage was reported to any homes or other businesses. Additionally, none of the plant’s nearly 800 workers were harmed.

In a statement sent to CMF, Chile’s securities regulator, Blumar Administration and Finance Manager Manuel Gallardo said Entrevientos’s specialized personnel, together with firefighting emergency teams, prevented the flames from reaching the plant’s refrigeration facility, ensuring the incident did not create an “environmental contingency.” 

The fire resulted in the total loss of the processing facilities, and “given the recent nature of the events, it is not possible to precisely determine the magnitude of the economic impact that it will mean for the company,” Gallardo said. “The affected processing plant has insurance coverage for this type of incident, and the insurance company has already been informed.”

The event marked yet another piece of bad news for Blumar. The salmon farmer suffered an algae bloom that began 31 December 2023 at its Victoria and Chivato 1 centers in Chile’s Aysén region. At the time, Blumar CEO Gerardo Balbontín told CMF that mortality was estimated at some 3,100 metric tons between the two centers, hitting Blumar with an approximate direct financial loss of USD 8.5 million (EUR 7.8 million).

Photo courtesy of Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN Chile)


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500