New Zealand’s seafood company Sanford Limited secured an $8 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund to help it create a new salmon hatchery in Southland. The new RAS hatchery will be built in the Bluff area. It will be designed to produce 6 million Chinook (King) salmon smolt once it’s scaled up and fully developed. Estimated build and development costs for stage one of the hatchery are around $16 million and once that stage is achieved, the 1.5 million smolts produced will support 6,000 tons of salmon at harvest.
Sanford CEO, Volker Kuntzsch, said that “the RAS hatchery is one of the cornerstone investments needed to help realize 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. The $8 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund will make a much-appreciated contribution to the development of this hatchery and highlights the importance this project has for the region and New Zealand.”
Sanford already has a substantial commitment to salmon farming in Southland. It farms in the cool, clear waters of 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 GM of Aquaculture, Ted Culley, said that a RAS hatchery is 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.”