The project, estimated to cost €25 million (US$28.7 million), will include a hatchery, nursery and full grow-out systems, as well as management and operational zones, according to a news release. The facility is projected to produce 2,500 tons of market-size Atlantic salmon.
"We are excited to embark on this unique project and confident in its success,” said Alexander Churkin, one of the investors on the project. “We have recognized the immense need for locally-produced, high-quality fish, free of antibiotics and other substances.”
The project will use RAS technology from Israel-based AquaMaof Aquaculture Technologies Ltd. and is expected to be completed by end of this year. Churkin said the decision to choose AquaMaof came after a “meticulous due-diligence process” examining several companies that provide a turn-key RAS solution for salmon grow-out.
“We are extremely honoured to be selected by a group of esteemed local investors, after a thorough evaluation process, that carefully assessed several available RAS technologies," David Hazut, CEO of AquaMaof, said. "We take great pride in supporting our customers in their mission to offer fresh, healthy, locally-produced salmon to the local population, that today consumes mostly frozen imported fish."
The contract between the Russian investors and AquaMaof was signed last October. Under the agreement, AquaMaof will take on the design and construction of the RAS facility.
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“AquaMaof’s advanced Minimal Liquid Discharge (MLD) technology utilizes proprietary water recycling techniques. At the core of the company's RAS technology is efficient power consumption, dramatically reducing costs of energy. No antibiotics and no chemicals in the process allow for the production of healthy, natural product,” the company said in a statement.
It added, “Biosecurity is paramount, and complete environmental control ensures that fish are grown in an environment which promotes their highest health and welfare status. With a robust design and construction, the facility requires minimal maintenance, while optimized feeding modes and advanced feeding management system enables reduction of the feed conversion ratio and operational costs.”
AquaMaof will also provide advice on fish nutrition, stocking, production parameters and system maintenance. Staff training to ensure they are able to operate the facility independently on an on-going basis will also be undertaken, AquaMaof said.
Project proponents expect the facility to be ready for its first batch of eggs by the fourth quarter of 2019.