A water tower in the Ohio village of Pioneer, where AquaBounty will build a 10,000-tonnes-per-year GM salmon RAS. Photo: Village of Pioneer website.

AquaBounty to site salmon RAS in Ohio

Transgenic-salmon producer AquaBounty has named Pioneer, a village of around 1,500 people in Ohio, as the site of its planned 10,000-tonne capacity on-land farm.

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The new farm will be AquaBounty’s first large-scale commercial facility, approximately eight times the size of its farm in Albany, Indiana, which has an annual production capacity of 1,200 tonnes.

In a press release this afternoon, Massachusetts-based AquaBounty said it is finalising the design for the estimated 479,000 square foot facility and expects to invest over $200 million in the project.

Construction is slated to begin in late 2021 and commercial stocking of salmon is anticipated to commence in 2023. Once in operation, the farm is expected to bring over 100 new jobs to the region.

Sylvia Wulf: Farm "is contingent upon approval of state and local incentives".

Intensive analysis

“We are excited to announce Pioneer, Ohio as the location of our next farm,” said AquaBounty chief executive Sylvia Wulf.

“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.

“The state of Ohio currently is finalising 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. Details of the site purchase have been agreed upon and we expect to begin construction by the end of the year.”

JP Nauseef: AquaBounty decision is evidence that Ohio is emerging stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Private / LinkedIn.

112 jobs

JP Nauseef, JobsOhio president and chief executive, said: “AquaBounty’s decision to choose Ohio for its first large-scale aquaculture facility is more evidence that Ohio is emerging from the [Covid19] pandemic stronger than before.

“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 originally chose the town of Mayfield, Kentucky as the site for its new farm but changed its mind after its selection process identified two potentially better sites located in the Midwest.

The company has chosen US-based Innovasea as technology supplier for its recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), where it will grow its faster-growing AquAdvantage salmon.

It plans five 10,000-tonne farms in North America and also has plans for South America and China. AquaBounty recently won approval from Brazil’s National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio) to sell its salmon in that country.