18 Oct 2014 15:30pm
WALVIS BAY, 18 OCT (NAMPA) The Namibia Standards Institution (NSI) has opened a state-of-the-art testing and inspection centre in Walvis Bay.
Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein inaugurated the centre on behalf of President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Friday.
I am glad to point out that we have used Namibian expertise to bring up this centre, that is testimony enough to those who think we cannot do things ourselves, said the minister.
The centre, which houses a chemical and microbiology laboratory, is an expansion of the testing laboratory which opened here in 2008.
It will mainly test food items, especially fisheries products, water and swabs for cleanliness efficacy.
This includes testing food spoilage and disease-causing bacteria.
The chemistry laboratory specialises in heavy metals in fish and algal toxins.
Inspection and surveillance services cover the factories and fishing vessels as well as evaluation of food processing systems for compliance to statutory requirements.
The main purpose of the centre is to ensure that Namibian fish products, which are exported, meet international health requirements.
Work on the building started in November 2012 and was completed in June this year. Operations started the same month.
On her part, Asteria Nasheya, a member of the Namibian Standards Council said the fast-growing fishing industry, limitations of space, as well as the need for a specialised technical laboratory prompted the expansion of the small laboratory.
Fishing industries remain the predominant customer base of the NSI centre, however inroads have been made to provide testing services to the expanding harbour-related industries such as commercial cruise liners and local coastal authorities, she said.
Nasheya said the implementation of a laboratory information management system and establishment of an instrument for detecting protein fingerprints of micro-organisms, amongst other planned projects, is also in the pipeline.