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ARCTIC ALASKA FISHERIES SIGNS LEASE FOR NEWPORT, ORE., FISH MEAL PLANT SITE; LEASES LOCAL PLANT FOR SURIMI OPERATION

ARCTIC ALASKA FISHERIES SIGNS LEASE FOR NEWPORT, ORE., FISH MEAL PLANT
 SITE; LEASES LOCAL PLANT FOR SURIMI OPERATION
 SEATTLE, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corp. (NYSE: ICE) today announced it has signed a long-term lease with the Port of Newport, Ore., for waterfront land upon which it plans to construct a 10,000-square-foot fish meal plant. In a separate announcement, the company said it reached agreement to lease half of an existing Newport fish processing plant to establish a surimi production operation.
 A 2.5-acre parcel near the International Terminal fronting Newport's Yaquina Bay will serve as the site for a state-of-the-art fish meal plant. The plant is scheduled to be operating by April of this year.
 Arctic Alaska's Mark Conrad, director of research and development, said the plant will incorporate the most advanced effluent- and odor- containment technology, while providing "opportunity for expansion of Newport's whitefish fishing/processing industry."
 Rhonda Hamstreet, vice chairman of the Port of Newport, welcomed the investment into the Port District. "This type of facility will boost the fish processing industry already located in Newport, and provides new jobs through the expansion of the economic base serving the Yaquina Bay region, at a time when it is needed. This is a prime example of the public/private partnerships anticipated by the stockholders of the district."
 Because disposal of locally generated fish waste has presented a problem in the past, the plant's rated capacity of 320 metric tons per day will enable Newport's shore-based fish processing industry to expand its collective capacity.
 "Our fish meal plant will also afford greater opportunity for local catcher boat operators to fish and stay 'local,'" Conrad noted.
 He said financial benefits over and above the eight to 10 new jobs will accrue to Newport as a result of the fish meal plant. All local suppliers will construct the new facility. Wiles Construction Inc. serves as general contractor, while Central Coast Excavation, S & J Construction, Quality Concrete and Oregon Pacific Construction also will participate in the project.
 Beyond the plant's construction, said Conrad, the state's coastal economy stands to benefit from the anticipated increase in shore-based processing activity. Newport City Council contract economist Hans Radtke has estimated the local financial impact of each metric ton of Pacific whiting processed in fillet form to be $507. Statewide impact per metric ton of fillet or surimi produced from whiting can mean up to $705.
 In underscoring the plant's advanced design, Conrad said the whiting offal will be carefully contained from the factory to the storage silo. The plant also will employ sophisticated air-scrubbing technology to remove odor and particulate matter from exhaust.
 As part of its investment in Newport, Arctic Alaska will establish the West Coast's first large-scale, shore-based surimi operation in a portion of Depoe Bay Fish Co.'s plant. The company plans to process whiting into surimi, a minced fish paste used to produce seafood analogs such as imitation crab. This new operation is estimated to generate up to 80 jobs.
 Arctic Alaska, in joint venture with Depoe Bay, had been operating since mid-1991 the area's first automated whitefish fillet processing operation. The company provided the fillet equipment and processing technology, while Depoe Bay supplied the physical plant and contact with area whiting fisherman.
 Though dependent on a "number of factors," Conrad said future expansion of the fish meal plant's processing capability, or additional company operations, remains a possibility.
 Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corp. is the largest, and only publicly held, U.S. fishing and at-sea processing company. Company vessels generally operate in the 200-mile exclusive economic zone off Alaska, catching crab and bottomfish such as pollock and cod. The catch is processed into a variety of seafood products that are sold domestically, to Japan and other export markets primarily under the Arctic Ice trademark.
 -0- 2/12/92
 /CONTACT: Rob Trafton of Arctic Alaska Fisheries, 206-298-4000/
 (ICE) CO: Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corp. ST: Washington, Oregon IN: FOD SU:


SC-LM -- SE001 -- 9109 02/12/92 09:15 EST
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Date:Feb 12, 1992
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