Russian fish industry to spend RUB29 billion on upgrade of fishery, processing and cool chain

March 27, 2009 16:32

According to the Head of the Russian Fisheries Agency Mr. Andrey Krainy, in 2009 the Russian fishery industry needs RUB29 billion of credit resources to carry out 94 investment projects of fishing, storage and fish processing, reports ( with the reference to RIA News.

In his opinion, the funds would create 19,600 working places and hundreds of thousands extra tonnes of seafood products. Currently, it is only the Russia's agricultural financial institution Rosselkhozbank, which is backed by the Government's targeted allocation of RUB1.1 billion to subsidize interest rates, that gives credits to fishing and processing companies. Other banks with large Government stakes in the capital including the giant Sberbank stopped lending to the fishermen so far.

In order to improve access to credit the Federal Fisheries Agency has prepared respective amendments to legislation and to help use fishing vessels and quotas as security for loans. Besides, the Agency has proposed to extend the subsidies of interest rates to fish processing and cold store construction.

According to the Head of the Russian Fisheries Agency, the State must subsidize 2/3 of the interest rates for building fish processing and coldstore facilities, while the interest rates for fleet modernization should to be 100% subsidized.

23 investment projects concerning buying and modernization of fishing vessels (valued RUB 12 billion) have been approved so far this year. This is to increase catch volume by 600,000 tonnes. Besides, it is planned to carry out 37 projects of processing facilities development with the production capacity of 190,000 tonnes. These projects are to create 6200 jobs.

Other 34 projects cover the building of coldstore and warehouse facilities with total capacity of 226,000 tonnes. For these purposes, it is planned to establish OAO Russky Kholod (Russian Cold Jsc.,) with the participation of the State in the capital. These projects will require RUB13 billion of investments. The mission of the company will be to establish a proper cool chain on the way from main fishing regions to big consumption centers.

Mr. Krainy noted also that Russian fishery industry infrastructure has become obsolete as it has not been funded enough. More specifically, 60% of port facilities need modernization. Fishing fleet that amounts to about 2,500 vessels has also run out of date. In 2008 the fishing companies bought 216 vessels while 540 fishing vessels were written off. If the industry fails to take measures now, the catch volumes will be reduced by 1 million tonnes by the year 2015.

Meanwhile, the ambitious plans of fishery industry development by 2020 provide for the doubling of the fish catch from 3.3 million tonnes in 2008 to 6.6 million tonnes in 2020. In 12 year period Russia has to become again among the three largest fishing states in the world as it was in Soviet Union times.

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