Nissui Sets Aside $21M for UniSea Dock Renovation

UniSea runs the biggest processing complex in Unalaska. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)
UniSea runs the biggest processing complex in Unalaska. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)

Unalaska’s biggest seafood processor is getting ready to start a $100 million renovation for its docks and factories.

In late April, UniSea got the green light and the first of that funding from its Japanese parent company, Nissui. They’ve earmarked $21 million for a new cod and crab dock in Unalaska.

UniSea president Tom Enlow says their current dock predates the company itself, and is basically condemned.

“And so our primary focus right now is replacing that dock so we have a safe working wharf,” Enlow says.

They’ll remove the current over-water pilings and put in a sheet pile dock using rock fill blasted from the nearby hillside. Enlow says it’ll create about 33,000 square feet of new real estate. It’s the same style of dock the city wants to install at the Unalaska Marine Center.

UniSea’s project also involves adding new moorings for fishing vessels, and a new crane for hoisting crab. Construction will start early next year, during the height of cod and crab season.

“We can offload at other locations on our dock and basically lift-truck the product down to the plant,” Enlow says.

UniSea has been working on permitting this project since 2006, but it’s been delayed over concerns for protected species, like Steller sea lions. Enlow says he expects they’ll get permission to work around the animals by the end of the year.

When the dock is done, they’ll move on to the next phase of the project. Enlow says it’ll involve consolidating some satellite pollock processing lines.

Annie Ropeik is a reporter for KUCB in Unalaska.

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