Salmon farming centre. (Photo Credit: New Zealand King Salmon)
King Salmon develops further expansion plans
Friday, April 25, 2014, 03:10 (GMT + 9)
After having been authorized to build three new aquaculture farms in the Marlborough Sounds by the Supreme Court, New Zealand King Salmon has plans to continue expanding and set up a processing plant in Picton.
The firm considers the new farms, which will total about 4 surface hectares and would eventually generate up to 150 new jobs across the top of the South Island, might be "a tipping point" that made the investment in Marlborough viable, The Marlborough Express reported.
The firm’s chief executive Grant Rosewarne explained that the Picton factory plant is likely to open around 2020, with the first production from the new farms happening around 2016.
Currently, fish from its farms are unloaded at Picton and taken by truck to Nelson for processing, and then to Christchurch for export. As part of the expansion plans, it has been considered to leave the head office in Nelson as well as the smoking facilities, and even the value-added fresh fish facilities. What would be changed is the primary processing.
The company's expansion would add about 150 jobs across the top of the south, and under the existing production arrangements, two-thirds of these would be in Nelson. These new Nelson jobs would have a higher skill level, and workers would be retrained.
Rosewarne remarked that the company had all its existing manufacturing in Nelson, but any decline in primary processing in Nelson would be offset by increasing the number of jobs at its Nelson smoke plant so processing in Marlborough would reduce time to market by a day, meaning fresher fish to customers, while reducing costs at the same time.
To the firm’s staff and management, having a final decision by the Court was a relief, since the company has been working with the Marlborough District Council, marine scientists and environmental campaigners to develop "best practice" guidelines for salmon farming.
"We are pleased to finally have some certainty after three years of legal process. The decision enables us to bring economic benefits to the region while operating in an environmentally sustainable manner," Rosewarne stressed.
According to firm sources, once fully operational, salmon farming in Marlborough would generate around USD 210 million in direct revenues as well as flow-on business for companies supporting the industry, including transport operators, engineering firms, science providers, tourism operators, contractors and retailers.
The firm’s CEO expressed their commitment to work together on solutions that are acceptable all round, which are good for the economy and the community, while protecting the environment
He also remarked that NZ King Salmon had joined the Global Salmon Initiative, a collaboration of the 14 major global salmon companies and the World Wildlife Fund. This group has the goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy protein to feed a growing global population, whilst minimising environmental footprint, and continuing to improve social contribution.
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