AquaBounty Technologies prepares Ohio site for 10,000 metric ton salmon farm

Pioneer, Ohio Farm Rendering Provided by AquaBounty Solutions

AquaBounty Technologies has entered the construction phase for a 10,000 metric ton salmon farm in Pioneer, Ohio.

Sylvia Wulf is president and CEO of the land-based aquaculture company.

“We’re very excited because the site met all of the criteria we were looking for: quality and quantity of water, solid energy pricing, and access to labor and talent. We have completed most of the contingencies which were in the contract before we completed the purchase,” she says. “We’re in the process of approval on the water consumption permit and we’re in the comment period. We’ve had townhalls with the Williams County and Pioneer community. We are now in the construction phase. We began site preparations last week and that includes preparing the site, surveying it, and construction of roadways and power to the site. We expect to start building construction in the middle of March depending on weather.”

She says the company has been proactive to help manage supply chain challenges.

“We have a specific plan in place with our design builder construction firm and with Innovasea, our recirculating aquaculture system technology provider,” she says. “We worked through that schedule and made decisions last fall to get out in front of some of those long-lead times or scarce material purchases. The prefabricated buildings, equipment associated with the recirculating aquaculture system, and some of the electrical components are now on order because we know supply chain issues and cost of material is something we’re going to need to manage closely.”

Wulf says the Ohio farm will be different from the existing farm in Albany, Indiana.

“One of the opportunities we have is to change the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology which is why we selected Innovasea for the Ohio site. In the Indiana facility, it was the Freshwater Institute that designed the systems. the Innovasea technology is a more effective way to manage biofiltration of the water that’s circulating in the tanks and it’s better for the fish,” she says. “The other difference is that the Ohio site will be under one roof. In Indiana we’re in several different buildings. We’ve created a design layout to be able to move the fish without stress in the 479,000 square-foot facility and to manage effectively and efficiently from a team perspective. We’ll have a lot more automation in the farm in Ohio because a lot of progress has been made in RAS equipment and with process controls and alarms it will help us keep our team and our fish really safe.”

She says the Indiana site will continue as a production facility and will also transition to an operational research facility.

“That will allow us to continue to improve our operations, look at new and better ways to keep the fish safe and happy,” she says. “Indiana factors into our future plan as an operational research facility which allows us to continue to leverage our relationship with Purdue.”

The Indiana facility began raising AquAdvantage Salmon, genetically engineered Atlantic salmon, in 2019. The company is now harvesting out of that facility.

The Ohio farm will eventually raise the fish from eggs imported from the compay’s site in Prince Edward Island, Canada. AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon program is based on a single, specific molecular modification in salmon that results in more rapid growth in early development.

Click here for more information.

Audio: Sylvia Wulf

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