8F raises USD 358 million to achieve Pure Salmon expansion
The parent company of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) firm Pure Salmon has raised USD 358.8 million (EUR 322.6 million) to fund the construction of RAS facilities in Poland, Japan, France, and the United States.
Singapore-based 8F Asset Management, a private equity manager focused on impact investing, said it raised the money from “leading family and institutional investors including several sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, and pension funds from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.”
The project also attracted “substantial investments from the aquaculture industry,” including from AquaMaof Aquaculture Technologies, Pure Salmon’s RAS technology partner, according to a press release.
Additionally, Pure Salmon has opened a new headquarters in the Abu Dhabi Global Market in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which will include employees working in management, aquaculture technology, sales and marketing, construction planning and execution, and finance and accounting, according to the company. The move “will create a centrally located hub from which the Pure Salmon vision will be realized in local markets around the world,” the company said.
Pure Salmon previously announced plans to build a series of RAS farms around the world, each producing 10,000 to 20,000 tons of salmon annually, with a goal of growing 260,000 tons of salmon per year globally once all of its planned RAS facilities are operational. The new capital gives Pure Salmon the financial means to complete its farms Japan, France, and the U.S. Those three projects, as well as Pure Salmon’s facility in Poland, which is already operations, constitute “phase one” of the company’s development.
Pure Salmon’s projects in Tazewell County, Virginia, U.S.A., Bologne-Sur-Mer, France, and Tsu City, Japan are all on track, according to Pure Salmon Board Director and 8F Chairman and Founder Stephane Farouze. Construction on the U.S. and French facilities will likely begin in late 2020 and produce its first fish for commercial use in 2023, while the construction on the facility in Japan will begin in the next few months and begin to produce commercial-grade salmon by 2023, Farouze said.
“With this highly successful asset raise we have reached a critical milestone in the development of Pure Salmon and have truly begun our journey towards 260,000 tons p.a. production of sustainable salmon,” Farouze said. “What’s more, having attracted such a highly respected group of investors, shows the level of confidence in the potential of the land-based aquaculture industry and in the ability of Pure Salmon and 8F to successfully deliver their vision.”
Pure Salmon is working with Japanese engineering consultant Nippon Koei on its Japan project. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2021 with the first harvest planned for 2023.
In Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pure Salmon has received “strong support from the local authorities,” according to the company.
“The French government has offered a fast-track process to obtain all necessary permitting by autumn this year,” it said. “Pure Salmon has contracted three local specialist companies to execute geotechnical studies, hydrogeological studies, and permit application assistance. As both Japan and France are 10,000-ton projects, the French facility will share many common design features of the Japanese facility, which helps the design process to be quicker. The company is in discussions with construction partners with a view to break ground before year-end, provided the permitting is completed as expected.”
In the U.S., Pure Salmon has completed site surveys and geotechnical studies for its 20,000-ton Virginia farm and RAS designer AquaMaof “is scheduled to start working on the initial RAS technology design for this larger facility.”
“The plan is to begin applications for permitting in a few months’ time and land preparation work is expected to commence during the last quarter of 2020,” according to the company.
Additionally, Pure Salmon is continuing to advance additional RAS salmon farms in China, Lesotho, and Southeast Asia. Each farm will use technology designed by AquaMaof. The company said it plans to import Pure Salmon into the areas where it plans to launch months before production comes online “in order to begin familiarizing local consumer to the brand.”
Image courtesy of Pure Salmon