“To feed a population of almost 10 billion by 2050 we will need to use a variety of protein production methods; this includes traditional farming methods as well as alternative farming methods to produce protein. Nutreco has made a number of investments in RAS initiatives throughout 2020,” the Dutch group told FeedNavigator in October.
The China-based RAS facility, which will be built in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, will raise Atlantic salmon in all production stages from the hatching of imported eggs to harvesting, processing and distributing fully-grown fish for local consumption.
Norwegian equipment supplier, AKVA Group, will supply the RAS technology used in the production facility. The total production capability of the facility will be around 8,000m tons of Atlantic salmon by 2026, with plans to grow further as new markets and customer segments are developed.
Aquaculture services provider, NAP, recently announced it had successfully completed a private placement of new shares with gross proceeds of around €55.1m (US$66.3m).
Chairman of the board of NAP and former Mowi managing director, Ragnar Joensen, weighed in on the status of the build in China: “Over the last year we have worked hard to develop the project to be investment ready and with the support from Nutreco and other co-investors we have completed detailed engineering and are ready to start construction soon.”
Nutreco CEO, Rob Koremans, said aquaculture in RAS provides an additional sustainable and safe way to increase the amount of fish available, while the company’s Nutreco’s chief innovation officer, Viggo Halseth, said the collaboration would allow it to further integrate farming and feed solutions towards optimal fish performance and would help further develop a highly sustainable form of aquaculture.
“It will also help us expand our learning about RAS and continue Skretting’s development of the best feed tailored for RAS systems,” said Halseth.
Other RAS facilities backed by Nutreco
In October, Nutreco revealed it was also one of four key investors in US RAS company, West Coast Salmon, a business looking to construct a best-in-class RAS facility for Atlantic salmon farming in Nevada, serving the US West Coast market.
And, in January, the Dutch feed business announced an investment in Kingfish Zeeland, which is producing yellowtail kingfish through a proprietary recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).
Skretting, Nutreco’s fish feed arm, is delivering juvenile feed to Kingfish Zeeland, and the companies said they would also cooperate on further development of best in class RAS feeds.
Koremans told us about the rationale for such investments back then: “We don’t expect that people will all of a sudden stop consuming animal proteins though milk, meat and eggs, but we do see both BlueNalu and Mosa Meat as solutions that can help to provide additional sources of animal proteins.
“If we are serious about feeding the future in a sustainable way, we will need to produce protein from a variety of sources, including animal agriculture as well as alternative proteins.”