Billund builds post-smolt RAS farm for Chilean salmon producer
By Nestor Arellano
Marcelo Varela, Billund’s chief executive officer in Chile, said the project represents a milestone in the country’s land-based aquaculture sector.
“It opens up a new phase of large-scale investment,” he said. “This is a new era that lays the foundations for the mixed aquaculture model, which consists of a previous grow-out phase on land to bring a more robust fish to the grow-out centers at sea, thereby achieving a more efficient and sustainable production cycle.”
Under the terms of agreement signed by the two companies, Billund will design and construct a post-smolt RAS fish farm for Salmones Austral in the Llaquepe sector, on the southern bank of the Reloncaviv Estuary, in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. The facility will have an annual production capacity of six million post-smolt salmon. Actual operation of the farm is projected to commence in the second quarter of 2021.
The facility will use both fresh and sea water, according to a press release from Billund Aquaculture.
Varela expects the project to spur the development of other seawater RAS ventures in Chile.
“Post-smolt production requires much higher feeding capacities and volumes of water than that used for smolt production,” he said. “Therefore, tackling this type of project poses significant challenges for the RAS provider, since it must have a solid structure and a great deal of experience.”
Billund is a pioneer in RAS development and has a presence in 20 other countries including Denmark, Norway, Australia and the United States.
Salmones Austral is a Chilean capital company that was formed with the merger of Trusal S.A., Salmones Pacific Star S.A. and Comsur Ltda. The three companies have a combined 25 years of experience in the salmon breeding and processing industry.