Adak’s seafood processing lines up for sale

The future of Adak’s seafood processing plant is up in the air. Following an announcement last month that Icicle Seafoods would permanently shutter its operation in the community, the processing plant’s equipment is being auctioned off, and there’s no guarantee it will stay on the island.

Icicle didn’t own any part of the plant that the company was using during its 2-year stint in Adak. Rhode Island-based Independence Bank owns the processing lines, which it acquired when the plant’s previous owner went bankrupt. Now, with Icicle’s departure, the bank wants to get rid of the equipment. Robert Levy is managing the sale, and he says the auction could go one of two ways.

“We will be offering the assets in bulk first, [for] bidders who are interested in acquiring the assets in bulk so that they can continue operating the site,” Levy says. “We will also then offer them in piecemeal, so that bidders have the opportunity to buy individual lines, either as complete lines or components to be removed from the facility.”

While the bank may be giving preference to bulk over piecemeal, the equipment is only part of the equation. The actual plant building is owned by Aleut Enterprise, a subsidiary of the Aleut Corporation, and potential buyers will need to negotiate a lease on the facility with that company — preferably before bidding on the equipment. Aleut Enterprise President Rudy Tsukada says for the sake of the community, they’re hoping they can work something out.

“Certainly in terms of overall community activity when it comes to economies of scale for things like power, fuel, large shipments, you really do need an industrial, large-scale fishery like the cod that Icicle was doing, and Adak Fisheries prior to that, to make it a viable community, I think,” Tsukada says.

Nevertheless, Tsukada says if the equipment does get parceled out to multiple buyers, his company will hang on to the building.

“We would have a very nice facility to lease in Adak for anybody that had any business — whether it be seafood, petroleum, or shipping — whatever opportunities are in the area.”

The auction will take place on June 18, in Anchorage and via webcast.

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