Northern Wind, based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A., is nearing completion on a state-of-the-art 38,000-square-foot processing and freezing facility on the New Bedford waterfront.
The new facility represents a significant expansion of the company, which is a direct off-loader, processor, and distributor of fresh and frozen scallops. According to a release from the company, the new expansion represents a USD 12 million (EUR 10.7 million) investment.
The new expansion was also the recipient of an award from the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce, which honored the company’s investment in the community with the 2019 Economic Impact Award. The award is given to businesses in the region that demonstrate “meaningful impacts on the local economy.”
“We are honored to be receiving such an esteemed award for Northern Wind,” , Northern Wind Founder and Chairman Ken Melanson said in a press release. “It exemplifies the quality of our products, the dedication of our employees and the amazing work we strive to provide our customers every single day.”
The new expansion will include a 21,600-square-foot holding freezer with a 5.5-million-pound capacity. A new high-efficiency processing line will be able to process 12,000 pounds of scallops per hour, or 100,000 pounds per shift. In addition to the new freezing and processing facilities, the expansion features high-efficiency HVAC facilities, and low-energy use LED lighting systems.
“From the standpoint of technology, the new high-speed tunnel is state-of-the-art in its space,” Northern Wind CEO George Kouri told SeafoodSource. “Not only does it have the capability to freeze at three times the rate of its predecessor, it uses much less energy to operate. This, coupled with the 5.5-million-pound freezer technology we have built, makes our new facility state of the art in all aspects.”
Kouri added that the new IQF tunnel was sourced from Iceland, and has taken nearly 10 months to build and install.
“Having the capability to freeze a combined 17,000 pounds per hour (the existing tunnel along with the new tunnel) provides us with the capability to triple our freezing capacity as well as our procurement capacity,” Kouri said. “Our efficiencies will be compounded exponentially from a procurement, processing, and freezing capability daily. Our ability to grow our sales will be the overriding result of this expansion.”
All told, the new facility will produce 22 permanent jobs in New Bedford.
“In addition to the recognition we received from the Chamber of Commerce, there are many business economies derived from this capital expansion,” Kouri said in the release.
Kouri added that getting to the end point has been difficult but worth it.
“It’s been a long road getting to the red zone with this project,” he said. “As in any major construction initiative, there have been several obstacles to overcome. However, it will be worth all our efforts once we cut the ribbon and start producing.”
Photo courtesy of Northern Wind