20 Mar 2017

No build date yet for A Samoa's new food processing plant

7:58 pm on 20 March 2017

No date has yet been set for the start to construction of a multi million dollar food processing plant in American Samoa.

tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel

tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel Photo: Giff Johnson

The Philippines based firm, AVM Bernardo Engineering, and the territorial government broke ground in January last year for the factory which was expected to employ up to 800 people.

Our correspondent in American Samoa said the project appeared to have stalled.

American Samoa Department of Commerce director Keniseli Lafaele said AVM Bernardo was holding meetings in Honolulu with prospective investors after others had pulled out.

Lafaele said all parties were hoping to complete talks and start construction sooner rather than later.

AVM Bernardo Engineering has proposed investing $US106 million to set up a "multi-line food processing plant," focusing first on frozen fish-based items and later extending to other products, such as juice.

The governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, said he saw the project as a major achievement for his administration.