Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was in Bluff today announcing an $8 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund for a new salmon hatchery for Sanford Limited.
The Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) hatchery will be built in the Bluff area. It will be designed to produce six million Chinook (King) salmon smolt once it’s scaled up and fully developed.
In a statement released exclusively to ‘What’s On Invers’ today, the company said the estimated build and development costs for stage one of the hatchery were around $16m, and once that stage was achieved, the 1.5 million smolt produced would support 6,000 tonnes of salmon at harvest.
Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch said he was delighted to be able to announce the investment into a new hatchery and the supporting loan from the Provincial Growth Fund.
“The RAS hatchery is one of the cornerstone investments needed to help realise a bold aspiration for aquaculture in Southland, in which salmon becomes an even stronger contributor to the regional economy.
“Smolt produced in this RAS hatchery will not only be available to Sanford, but to other salmon farmers in the region,” he said.
Sanford already has a substantial commitment to salmon farming in Southland. It farms in Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island and operates a processing plant in Bluff.
The listed New Zealand company has plans underway to grow those facilities in line with its longer-term vision of investing in open ocean aquaculture in Foveaux Strait.
The new hatchery will give Sanford the ability to create a fully controlled environment to grow salmon from eggs to smolt.
Sanford’s general manager of aquaculture, Ted Culley said, an RAS hatchery was the gold standard in salmon farming globally.
“We are proposing to create a facility that will be state of the art, using the best systems available to create an ideal growing environment for the smolt.
“This facility will also create jobs – up to 54 direct jobs in the hatchery itself and our farming and processing areas and then 163 indirectly in the wider community.
We are very proud to operate in Southland and we look forward to growing the contribution that we make to the local economy.”