BC Fisheries will celebrate the grand opening of its seafood processing plant this Friday, after beginning production in spring of this year.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:45 a.m. at the BC Fisheries plant, 16263 Harbor Drive, and is open to the public.
Speakers at the event will include BC Fisheries, LLC, owner Mike Manning, former Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald, state legislators Jeff Kruse and Wayne Krieger and Adam Zimmerman, president of Craft3. The speeches will be followed by tours of the processing facility.
“The processing plant allows shrimp to be processed locally,” said Carl Seip of Craft3, a nonprofit that helps finance businesses in Oregon and Washington, and funded $6.3 million of the $9.6 million project.
The plant will employ about 30 people locally, and is the first of its kind to use “cool steam technology,” in which shrimp are steamed at a lower temperature instead of boiled — resulting in a higher quality product.
“Things have been going excellent, the plant has been running real good,” Manning said. He added that operations are already in progress at the plant, and the grand opening doesn’t signify any major changes.
“The opening is more symbolic,” he said. “We’re doing the same thing we’ve been doing.”
According to a press release from Craft3, the funds allowed BC Fisheries to build the facility at the port and purchase equipment. The facility can process up to 2.4 million pounds of shrimp per month.
Prior to the opening of the plant in Brookings, the closest processing plants were in Eureka and Coos Bay. The plant currently processes only Oregon pink shrimp, and sends the product to distributors up and down the West Coast, port officials have said eventually they hope to process crab. Construction on the plant began in October 2015, and employed about 15 local people.