Subsecretariat Pablo Galilea during the opening ceremony of the binational new firm. (Photo: Subpesca)
Chinese-Chilean algae company opened
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 22:30 (GMT + 9)
The Chilean algae industry has a new company, Mingyue Chile, as a result of an alliance between the Chilean firm Productoras de Algas Marinas Ltda (Prodalmar) and the Chinese algae group Qingdao Mingyue Seaweed Co. Ltd.
Prodalmar is one of the main three brown algae exporters in Chile, with annual shipments of about 14,000 tonnes. Its main markets are China, France, Norway and Japan.
Mingyue, meanwhile, is one of the most important companies in the production of alginates from the Asian country.
During the opening ceremony of the new binational company, the head of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), Pablo Galilea, announced the submission of a bill to the National Congress for the State to grant a subsidy for algae stocking and farming.
The idea is to benefit artisanal fishermen and smaller farmers.
"There is a need to provide a strategic framework to the algae sector due to the importance of these resources for artisanal fishing," pointed out the undersecretary.
Galilea noted that this sector has become "a development hub in different regions of the country, especially for women who perform their activities as collectors on the coast and the organizations that administer management areas in the Chilean coast."
He also highlighted the high global demand for products derived from brown, green and red algae, driven by the use of these products in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food and biofuel industries.
As part of the opening ceremony, Prodalmar general manager, René Piantini, described as "very positive" the fact that the integration of a Chilean and a Chinese firm has been accomplished.
"In addition, with the project announced by the subsecretary, we are able to restock and increase the annual production of this resource, which implies the enrichment for Chile," he added.
Last year, Chile exported products made from algae for USD 222 million, 12 per cent more than in 2011. The contribution of these products to total revenues earned by fishing exports was 4.9 per cent, according to Subpesca.
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By Analia Murias