8 Feb 2011

Starkist cannery in American Samoa evicted

8:56 am on 8 February 2011

The Starkist Samoa cannery in American Samoa has been evicted from land owned by the American Samoa Power Authority, ASPA.

The power company says the cannery never exercised in advance the option to extend its land lease with ASPA and waited until it had expired to do so.

ASPA board chairman, Asaua Fuimaono, also says the delay was probably attributed to the cannery looking at leaving American Samoa.

StarKist had a nine year lease for the more than one acre land property for its storage freeze facility, which also houses the tuna pouch production, employing some 40 workers.

However, the cannery failed to exercise the option for renewal and therefore was evicted, following a legal battle in court.

Over the weekend, the cannery moved out of the facility while it works with the governor for a new location.

The 40 plus workers are now stationed at the company's other location in Tafuna village.

Asaua Fuimaono says ASPA needs this parcel of land to rebuild a new power plant, to replace the one destroyed in the 2009 tsunami.

He said another location would take a long time to go through the federal permitting process and the company has a deadline.