The owner of Peterhead firm Mapco hopes the relaunch of their fish-drying plant, 18 months after it was devastated by storms, will be a boost to the local economy.
Mapco’s processing factory at Gerrie’s Yard on the Harbour’s Keith Inch was flattened by a storm which hit the North-East in December, 2012.
Boss Nasar Rashid has been working to get the firm, which exports dried fish to Africa as a cheap source of protein, back on its feet and rescue the jobs of his 22 employees ever since.
Now Mr Rashid has said Mapco is only weeks away from relaunching and expects to create eight new jobs.
Some of his original 22 workers will be returning and Mr Rashid is looking to eventually hire a total of 30 staff.
He said: “Hopefully it will create wealth. These people will be paying rent, will be paying council taxes, will be buying food and drink.
“We’ve also tried to make the facility as green as possible.
“Our electricity providers use a high proportion of green power and we’ll be the first in the harbour to install solar panels.”
Although the freak weather in the winter of 2012 crippled his business and cost local people jobs, now both Mr Rashid and his contractors - from whom he ‘could not have asked for more’ - believe Mapco will be stronger than ever.
More efficient machinery and a better organised factory will allow production to increase and, Mr Rashid hopes, allow for further expansion.
He continued: “It maintains Mapco’s character as a green and ethical a company.
“It looks like a success but it’s difficult to gauge until we’re up and running.”
The company was also praised by Peterhead Port Authority’s chief financial officer, Stephen Paterson.
Mr Paterson said: “Mapco should be congratulated for the perseverance and tenacity that has allowed them to make such a speedy recovery from the disastrous storm damage in December 2012.
“Peterhead Port Authority is progressing plans for a £40 million development that will create an integrated fishing hub at Greenhill to consolidate Peterheads position as the leading fishing port in Europe.
“The potential benefit of this investment will be maximised if it encourages other companies to do business in Peterhead so that the complete needs of the industry can be met locally. Mapco are an important part of this supply chain.”
Mr Rashid thanked contractors Lovie Construction, Turners, Fowlie electrians and Martin Ritchie plumbers.