The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Australis Holdings, Inc. (Australis) signed a $15 million convertible note to promote climate-resilient, ocean-based barramundi and seaweed aquaculture in Vietnam.
The investment will fund working capital to expand Australis’ operations at Van Phong Bay in central Vietnam and support the development of a second regional production hub in southern Vietnam. An additional $3 million grant will be provided by the Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF), administered by ADB.
“Three billion people across the world depend on seafood for protein, even as global fish stocks fall due to overfishing and temperature rise,” said ADB director general for Private Sector Operations, Suzanne Gaboury. “ADB’s assistance will support the government’s efforts to develop sustainable aquaculture, particularly large-scale farming of high-value species for export. Aquaculture can support low-carbon protein production, while tropical ocean farming is more resilient to climate risks. This is our first aquaculture equity investment in Vietnam, and we are proud to partner with Australis.”
Australis is the world’s largest barramundi producer and pioneered the development of modern, large-scale marine aquaculture in Vietnam. “ADB’s financing will support the continued growth of our operations in central Vietnam as well as the development of a large new regional production hub where we’ve established a group of leases that will allow us to achieve 50,000 tons of annual barramundi production,” said Australis chief executive officer, Josh Goldman.
The CIDF grant to Australis’ subsidiary Greener Grazing LLC, will support research and development into the cultivation of Asparagopsis taxiformis seaweed for commercial ocean farming. This species of seaweed has been demonstrated to significantly reduce enteric methane emissions when included in cattle feed.
Launched in September 2021, CIDF is a blended finance facility managed by ADB, established with an initial $25 million philanthropic commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Goldman Sachs.