With an investment of over US$ 50 million, the balanced aquaculture feed production plant—part of the Vitapro Group, which manufactures under the Nicovita brand name—is celebrating five years of operations in Ecuador.
The production plant operates in accordance with the highest quality and health standards, continuously improving the performance of its processes and producing top-quality feed to nourish the shrimp farming industry. When it opened its doors in January 2013, it was backed by an investment of less than US$ 20 million, with a production capacity of 100,000 tons annually. Now, just five years later, following an additional capital injection of US$ 30 million, it boasts an annual production of 300,000 tons of feed.
Ecuador was chosen as the site for this plant, which is now among the three largest production centers in the world. According to the plant’s general manager, Fabricio Vargas, “We decided to open the plant in Ecuador, as local producers, so that we could reach our clients more efficiently and promptly, placing our trust in the sector and in the country by investing with a local partner.”
The plant, which is located in the canton of San Jacinto de Yaguachi (at a distance of 46 kilometers from Guayaquil) is one of the most modern in the world when it comes to the production of balanced feed for aquaculture, and was constructed based on the highest standards in force in Peru and elsewhere in the world. Its installed capacity easily enables it to meet the demands of the local market. “This plant has some of the most cutting-edge technology, which allows us to provide a balanced feed with optimal quality, ultimately helping to grow the shrimp industry,” notes Vargas.
Covering an area of 80,000 m2, the plant provides jobs to nearly 220 people, and has an installed capacity for the storage of over 10,000 tons of finished product. It also has room for 1,600 m3 of raw liquid materials and 28,000 tons of bagged and bulk raw materials. “That extensive storage capacity gives us the flexibility to handle different lots at different times without a problem,” explains Vargas.
Growing Its surroundings
But Nicovita is not only concerned with producing balanced feed. It is also committed to helping the community near the plant. “Since we set up here, this area has become a development hub for local residents. To us, it is very important to interact with the community. For instance, we have done a great deal of work with the schools in the area, donating funds to fix them up and creating a mentoring program for schoolchildren to help lower the school dropout rate,” says Vargas.
Aid has also been provided to local communities in response to the frequent flooding in the area. The plant offered machinery and labor, working together with local authorities to clean canals and perform maintenance work at river outlet sites.
In the future, says Fabricio Vargas, they will seek to continue growing and supporting the development of Ecuador’s shrimp industry.
Nicovita is part of Vitapro, a multinational company with over 30 years of experience in the aquaculture sector, engaged in the production and sale of balanced feed for fish and shrimp.
Vitapro, through its Nicovita and Salmofood brands, seeks to supply the worldwide aquaculture market with the best nutritional solutions. Innovation, technical advisory, and high quality standards form the foundation necessary for the creation of value and wellbeing, to the benefit of the industry and its development.
Vitapro is backed by Alicorp S.A.A., a mass consumer goods company present in over 23 countries, with operations in six Latin American countries, four production plants, three experimental aquaculture centers, and one pilot plant.