AquaBounty selects Ohio site for new RAS salmon farm

A water tower standing atop Pioneer, Ohio, U.S.A.

AquaBounty Technologies, a producer of genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon, has selected Pioneer, Ohio, U.S.A. as the location for its planned expansion, the company announced on 29 July.

The new farm will be incorporate recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology and will be the company's first large-scale production facility, with a planned annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons (MT) in a 479,000-square-foot facility. The project has an estimated cost of USD 200 million (EUR 168.3 million).

“We are excited to announce Pioneer, Ohio as the location of our next farm,” AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf said. “After an intensive analysis of the site data and the completion of substantial due diligence, Pioneer met our selection requirements. The Village of Pioneer, Williams County, the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, and the Regional Growth Partnership have all been a pleasure to work with and are highly supportive of the economic benefits we plan to bring to the community.”

AquaBounty’s current production facility in Albany, Indiana has an annual production capacity of 1,200 MT, meaning the new facility in Ohio will give the company a significant increase in production. Its anticipated completion date is 2023.

“The state of Ohio currently is finalizing a package of economic incentives to support AquaBounty’s location at the Pioneer site, as the plan for the new farm is contingent upon approval of state and local incentives,” Wulf said. “Details of the site purchase have been agreed upon and we expect to begin construction by the end of the year.”

The new facility is expected to add roughly 100 jobs to the area once in operation, according to the company.

“AquaBounty’s decision to choose Ohio for its first large-scale aquaculture facility is more evidence that Ohio is emerging from the [COVID-19] pandemic stronger than before,” JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said. “This investment will bring 112 new jobs to northwest Ohio, further solidifying the region’s role as a national leader in agribusiness production and distribution.” 

AquaBounty previously announced that Mayfield, Kentucky was the favored site for its first 10,000 MT land-based salmon farm – a site chosen from 230 candidates.

Wulf told SeafoodSource Kentucky met its criteria, but further analysis made the Ohio site more favorable. 

"Although the Kentucky site met all of our selection criteria, the Ohio site proved to be advantageous after all of our analysis and substantial due diligence," she said. 

The company completed its first harvest of its genetically-engineered salmon in June.  

Photo courtesy of Village of Pioneer, Ohio


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