AquaBounty signs non-binding deal to build salmon RAS in Republic of Georgia
US land-based salmon farmer AquaBounty has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Noble Salmon, a company formed to build and operate a recirculating aquaculture system RAS facility in the Republic of Georgia, AquaBounty said today.
Noble Salmon was formed by Israel-based investment company Benish Group, whose chief executive Meni Benish is also a co-founder of Archi, a major engineering and real estate development firm in the Republic of Georgia, AquaBounty said in a press release. Benish is also the chairman of the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Benish Group will contribute expertise in engineering, material sourcing and permitting to the project, while AquaBounty will provide its experience successfully operating RAS farms through rigorous operating procedures and incorporating the latest technologies into the design of those farms.
“The combination of capabilities of the two companies benefits the construction and operation of a planned state-of-the-art RAS farm focused on producing Atlantic salmon for sale in nearby markets,” said AquaBounty.
“This project will be the first instance of AquaBounty executing its strategy to enter additional salmon markets through local partnerships in a capital-lite structure.”
In the US AquaBounty grows salmon which inherit a 30-year-old genetic modification that enables them to grow from hatch to harvest in 18 months, but the farm in Georgia will be for conventional salmon.
"The MOU with Noble Salmon is for sharing our extensive technical expertise with farming Atlantic salmon in RAS facilities," said AquaBounty chief executive Sylvia Wulf. "This facility will grow conventional Atlantic salmon for local markets in the Republic of Georgia and export to Israel. We will be pursuing approval for our GE salmon as we move forward with the business."
The Benish Group states on its website that Israel is famous for applying innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to revolutionise the agriculture and aquaculture field, and the Group brings that mindset and technology to rural areas around the world.
It adds that Benish Group is working on a few projects in the agriculture and aquaculture fields in Georgia.