BioMar’s Australian fish feed facility cleared for construction

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

Regulatory approval is allowing for work to start on BioMar’s AUD $56m (US $40.7m) aqua feed manufacturing facility in Tasmania.

The Denmark-based aqua feed company announced that the final regulatory hurdle was cleared on Wednesday [August 15]. The Latrobe Council granted an approval for BioMar’s development application. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Authority reviewed the development proposal and environmental management plan.

The Wesley Vale location​ for the new facility was initially released in December 2017, however, it has taken several months to complete the regulatory review process, which was needed before the construction phase could start.

The delay from initial site selection to final approval is a normal piece of the regulatory process, and took the expected amount of time, the company said. The site is set to have an open day this weekend for members of the community and take about 14-months to complete.

A next step in the construction process will be to award a civil works contract to an Australian firm, added Alasdair Bradley, BioMar Australia technical customer account manager.

The site was selected for proximity to both local customers and its logistics, said Carlos Dias, CEO of BioMar Group.

“We need to be located close to domestic and international ports for inbound and outbound logistics,” ​he told FeedNavigator. “Biosecurity was also taken into account and the full area is an agricultural and green hub that suits perfectly with BioMar values and sustainability matters.”

Facility details

The feed manufacturing facility is set to be located in northern Tasmania and will be a first for BioMar in that country. The region is considered the center of salmonid aquaculture in Australia.

The new aquaculture feed production facility is set to be located on the site of a closed particleboard manufacturing mill, the company said. Part of the effort to bring the new facility online has included removing redundant buildings at the location.

The new site is expected to be operational in late 2019, Dias said. It will have the ability to produce about 110,000 tons of feed annually for a range of different species.

Feed generated at the new location is intended for markets in Australia and New Zealand, he said. It also may be used to support other export markets.

The company also is currently establishing sourcing for the grains and ingredients it will need for the upcoming feed production, he said. “BioMar maintains strict policies for sourcing raw materials that meet our high sustainability criteria and have the right composition to create high-end aquaculture feed,”​ he added.

“We are arranging meetings with local grain producers to see which crops can be produced locally and what changes may be required in order to fulfill our strict requirements,”​ he said. “Initially we expect to have 40% material sourced from Australia and 60% imported, however, we expect the ratio from Australia to increase as we develop new local partnership and test the performance of their crops and raw materials.”

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