THE Israeli RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) specialist AquaMaof is building a land-based salmon farm in Russia, which will receive its first eggs towards the end of next year.
The 2,500 tonne, €25 million project, financed by local investors, will include a hatchery, nursery, and full grow-out areas.
AquaMaof CEO David Hazut said: ‘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.
‘We take great pride in supporting our customers in their mission to offer fresh, healthy, locally produced salmon for the local population, that today consumes mostly frozen imported fish.’
Russian investor Alexander Churkin said: ‘We are excited to embark on this unique project and are confident in its success.
‘We have recognised the immense need for locally produced, high quality fish, free of antibiotics and other substances.
‘Through a meticulous due diligence process we examined several companies that can provide a turnkey RAS project, for the grow-out of salmon, and chose AquaMaof for its extensive and proven experience in similar projects. I am certain that we will have a constructive, fruitful cooperation.’
At the core of AquaMaof’s RAS technology is efficient power consumption, which dramatically reduces energy costs, says the company.
Its advanced Minimal Liquid Discharge (MLD) technology utilises proprietary water recycling techniques, and no antibiotics are used.
Biosecurity is paramount, and complete environmental control ensures that fish are grown in an environment which promotes their highest health and welfare status, said AquaMaof in a press release.
With a robust design and construction, the facility requires minimal maintenance, while optimised feeding modes and advanced feeding management system enable reduction of FCRs (feed conversion ratios) and operational costs, the company added.
Hazut said: ‘We will support our customers throughout the process, working closely with them to provide advice regarding nutrition, stocking, production parameters, and system maintenance.
‘We will also train their staff to ensure complete independence in ongoing operations. This close support will continue long after the facility is operational, to ensure that the facility in not only producing high quality, healthy and tasty fish, but also succeeds financially and enables quick return on investment for the investors.’
AquaMaof already has a successful track record in building RAS facilities around the world and is involved in Pure Salmon, the enterprise set up recently by finance company 8F Asset Management to establish a global network of land based salmon farms.
The Israeli company’s first RAS plant in Poland, 50 per cent owned by 8F’s private equity fund and 50 per cent by AquaMaof, is now producing adult size fish of 5-6kg.
AquaMaof is also currently building an advanced RAS hatchery and nursery facility for Grieg Seafood in Marystown, Newfoundland.
This plant will produce seven million smolts ranging up to 1,500g. Grieg NL will stock 11 sea cage sites for the subsequent grow-out and expects a harvest of 33,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon by 2023.
Picture: AquaMaof’s R&D and training facility in Poland