AquaCon AS is continuing its efforts to develop its first land-based 10,000 tonnes salmon RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System) production facility in the US Mid-Atlantic region, focusing on site locations in the State of Maryland.
Due to public concerns regarding potential effects of the discharge of purge water on Atlantic sturgeon, AquaCon has decided to withdraw its pending discharge application for the site location in Federalsburg on the Eastern Shore. AquaCon’s mission is to produce salmon in a sustainable way close to consumers with a low carbon footprint. To the core of this is AquaCon’s acknowledgement of protection of the environment and wildlife.
“Land based salmon production will be an important addition to traditional salmon sea farming as it offers significant ESG benefits and truly sustainable production addressing many of the key concerns related to sea farming, such as fish health with reduced mortalities and no medication, controlled environment with no sea lice and escapees, and significant reduction of CO2 emissions due to production close to consumers with no airfreight. AquaCon is fully committed to establishing itself as a leading US salmon producer with high ESG standard providing high quality fresh salmon to US consumers, the world’s largest and fastest growing market,” Pål Haldorsen, AquaCon CEO, said.
AquaCon will continue close cooperation with the Maryland Department of the Environment to provide further analyses needed to address public concerns in order to submit a new application, if applicable. We note that the discharge water from purging of our salmon would comply with all discharge limitations proposed by the tentative permit.
Other sites suited for land-based salmon production are identified, and we may prioritize an alternative first production site to Federalsburg.
The engineering of the RAS production facility is close to completion with a particular focus on advanced biofilters providing production flexibility, water filtration safeguarding fish health and reuse of production water limiting the usage of water per kilo salmon produced. As part of the RAS design and engineering, AquaCon has enjoyed a close cooperation with the University of Maryland and the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET). AquaCon and other industry, research and academic partners, including the USDA, are continuing various initiatives for enhancing the operation and efficiency of large salmon RAS production.
AquaCon plans to start construction in late 2023/early 2024.