Cold storage funded for P.E.I. processors

Fruit and vegetable processors on Prince Edward Island will be among those to gain from new investments in a cold storage facility being built on the province’s east coast.

The federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and provincial government on Tuesday announced investments in the facility at the Souris Food Park.

The new 23,000-sq.ft. facility is expected to have storage capacity of five million pounds and two 20,000-lb. blast freezers, and is due to start operating by May 1.

The storage plant, being developed by the Souris Harbour Authority Inc. (SHAI) at a total cost of $3.5 million, will be available to a “variety of users,” also including fishermen and seafood processors on P.E.I. and nearby Iles de la Madeleine, the government said.

SHAI and its commercial lender, Scotiabank, are in for $2 million, while the province puts up $1 million and ACOA provides a $500,000 repayable loan.

Rather than build their own cold storage facilities, many processors prefer to use public cold storage for pre-shipping as well as to meet seasonal and long-term needs, the government said.

“Thanks to federal and provincial support on this project, we will be able to fulfill the substantial need that exists for this type of facility,” SHAI president Denis Thibodeau said in a government release.

“This business initiative is a key element of our waterfront development strategy that contributes to the long-term growth and sustainability of the harbour authority.”

SHAI is the non-profit community corporation that owns, operates and promotes the port facilities at Souris.

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