February 13, 2004



Philippine Ocean Business Corp To Invest US$50 Million In Aquaculture Project


Philippine Ocean Business Corp. (POBC) has plans to build a large-scale aqua-marine pond and modern fish production facility in the Subic Special Economic Zone. The total cost of the aquaculture project is about P2.8 billion (US$50million).


Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Felicito C. Payumo said that Hokel Subic Corp., along with its local partner POBC presented the project that involves a modern and environment-friendly seacage fishing technology before the SBMA board.


POBC, a wholly Filipino-owned business engaged in marine culture, will provide expertise for the setting-up, maintenance and care of a high-tech seacage facilties while Hokel will develop mechanical engineering marvels for the seacage and fish processing plant.


Hokel will export its aqua-marine products to the U.S. Europe and other target clients in the Asia-Pacific region including China and Japan.


Apart from its fish processing plant in Subic, other facilities particularly the seacage fishery system will be built along the coastal waters in San Antonio, Zambales, and Morong, Bataan with projected employment of up to 4,000 workers.


"Water quality is the main concern in developing marine culture business and we have formulated strategies particularly focused on controlling and maintaining high standard water quality and preventing possible contamination," Hokel president James Tsal said.


Tsal further noted that one of the advantages of its ocean seacage designed by Hokel fishery research center, would be the anti-waving and floating patent design with hydrodynamic and biological characteristic to ensure no deformities would occur even in extreme weather conditions to prevent environmental damage.


Tsal also added that other facilities to be set up for this project would also include storage areas, ice plant with marine laboratory for periodic fish-sampling analysis and a fish processing at the Subic Bay Industrial Park (SBIP), a harbor and warehouse facilities and a fish-power processing plant in Bataan, Techno Park Inc.


Hokel administrative officer Ronald Calderon said that based on its comprehensive study, the project is best suited in a 200- hectare sea farm along Silanguin Bay and Nagzasa Bay in San Antonio Zambales to produce high economic value aqua-marine harvest.


Apart form this, Calderon also identified the shoreline along Minanga Bay in Morong, Bataan to accommodate a two-hectare fish farm intended for propagation and breeding of imported species from Taiwan and Japan.


Calderon also noted that Hokel is currently negotiating with international air courier, Federal Express (FedEx) having its regional arrangement with international airport for its delivery service to worldwide market.


The project will initially produce high economic value fish named COBIA that weigh up to 30 kilograms.


Aside from the seacage facilities, a Fishery and Aquatic Training institute will also be set to educate and provide technology transfer for its workers.

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