The loan Saudi Hollandi Bank will grant National Prawn Company will make it possible to continue its growth plan. (Photo: NPC/FIS)
Prawn company gets USD 122mln to build five farms
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 02:40 (GMT + 9)
An agreement has been signed between Saudi Hollandi Bank and National Prawn Company to support the firm's long-term growth ambitions including the second phase development of its Red Sea prawn and fish farming projects. The funding is one of the biggest single bank transactions ever for a private sector aquaculture company in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Hollandi Bank will provide National Prawn with an Islamic financing option worth USD 122 million.
The facility will be used by National Prawn to fund long-term expansion plans, including its prawn and fish cultivation projects at Al-Laith, 180 km south of Jeddah. The company will add five new farms each consisting of 28 to 30 ponds, each pond measuring about 10 ha.
Founded more than 20 years ago, National Prawn now produces over 18,000 tonnes a year of white prawns for sale both domestically and abroad. The funding will significantly increase the company's production capacity at its Red Sea facilities to 32,000 tonnes a year.
"This funding will support National Prawn Company's growth aspirations and expansion plans. We believe that the financing will help National Prawn Company rapidly increase its productivity and competitiveness,” said SHB's Managing Director Dr Bernd van Linder.
Saudi Hollandi Bank's Regional Manager for Corporate Banking in the Western Region Ghassan Nassief added that the bank seeks to make sure that its corporate customers have access to funding that is both in line with Islamic principles and that is flexible enough to support their development over the short, medium and long-term.
"Saudi Hollandi Bank was able to meet our financing needs in a way that complied with our Islamic-financing principles and also in a timely fashion,” stated National Prawn Company's Managing Director Engineer Ahmed Al-Balla'a. “This expansion will ensure that National Prawn Company can retain its position as one of the largest fully integrated prawn farms in the world."
Al-Balla'a commented that the company’s prawns are exported to markets such as Britain, Spain, Japan, Korea, America, China and Australia and that the firm has been ISO 9001, 14001 and 22000 certified and possesses the British Retail Consortium certification.
“Our shrimp are of the highest quality, antibiotic free and our farms are fed directly from the pristine, crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. We consider ourselves a Saudi success story and consider Saudi Hollandi Bank our long-term partner for growth and expansion," concluded Al-Balla'a.
By Natalia Real