AquaChile lab to conduct coronavirus testing in southern Chile

Published on
March 30, 2020

Chilean salmon and trout farmer AquaChile has converted its state-of-the-art Alab Molecular Biology Laboratory to conduct coronavirus testing in southern Chile.

The initiative makes the laboratory – located in Puerto Montt, complete with trained personnel and research teams, and equipped with technology for carrying out viral disease detection tests – available to the health and military authorities of the Los Lagos Region. The idea is to strengthen diagnostic capacity for early detection and stemming the spread of COVID-19 in regions IX, X, XI and XII in the south of the country, including the city of Puerto Montt and the island of Chiloé, where much of the country’s salmon farming takes place.

"The adaptations are being carried out and the protocols are being processed so that starting next Monday, 30 March, our … laboratory can perform and process coronavirus tests," AquaChile Alab Manager Alexis Martínez said in a press release.

In October last year, AquaChile completed its USD 21 million (EUR 19.1 million) expansion of its Quellón salmon processing plant, which it said made the facility the world’s largest and most modern. The 8,000-square-meter plant has an annual production capacity of 140,000 metric tons, employs some 1,000 workers, and will process half of the company’s total production.

AquaChile is the country’s largest salmon producer and the second-largest globally, resulting from a 2018 sector consolidation that brought a number of actors – AquaChile, Los Fiordos, Salmones Magallanes, and Friosur salmon area assets – under the umbrella of AgroSuper. With a presence in 40 countries, more than 350 direct customers, 5,515 employees in Chile, 15 freshwater facilities, and 139 farming sites at sea, its monthly production feeds more than 150 million people worldwide, the company said.

Photo courtesy of AquaChile

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