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Moana New Zealand opens next generation lobster plant

NEWS

Moana New Zealand opens next generation lobster plant

Moana New Zealand have today opened a new energy efficient live lobster export facility in Auckland which trebles the partnership’s previous capacity.

Operated by Port Nicholson Fisheries, the two companies officially joined forces in April this year to form the country’s largest Maori-owned lobster processing business.

Moana CEO Carl Carrington says “This is truly a next generation facility which is far more than bricks and mortar. It incorporates state of the art technologies and exemplifies our partnership with Port Nicholson Fisheries. It’s an exciting example of Iwi working in collaboration.

The new facility holds over 300,000 litres of sea water, can process six tonnes of lobster per day for export and has a total hold capacity of 27 tonnes.

Supplying premium product is key and much research and development has led to a better understanding of the physiology of lobster and water quality. It’s lead to significant advances in understanding management of live lobster and better design of the live holding systems.

“The processing plant is built on technological innovation from around the world which not only allows us to process three times more live lobster but also makes the process far more energy efficient,” he says.

Mr Carrington says a purpose built emersion system removes the need to chill large volumes of seawater down to lower the lobster metabolism, saving a considerable amount of energy.

Within the new plant, each of three separately managed seawater systems can have its own sea water temperature setting based on lobster receiving temperatures. All main pump motors and the air system are managed by Variable Speed Drives (VSD) allowing the motors to run at the most efficient speed for the duties required at any time. Dual compressor seawater chilling units run the seawater through Vaportec heat exchangers that provide the best transfer of energy.

“Our partnership is about being future-focussed in exporting our live lobster to the world and this plant is a perfect illustration of our drive and direction,” Mr Carrington says.

The Moana New Zealand and Port Nicholson partnership processes 650 tonnes of lobster quota annually which represents approximately 44 per cent of the North Island and Chathams TACC and 23 per cent of New Zealand’s total live lobster exports.