The recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility has been commissioned by Pure Salmon, owned by 8F Asset Management, which announced in January that it had chosen Boulogne as the preferred site for the farm ahead of Olbia in Sardinia.
The first eggs are expected to be put in the farm by 2021 and the first harvest is expected by 2023.
60,000 tonnes under development
AquaMaof said that beginning work on the French project takes the combined capacity of its under-development projects to 60,000 tonnes.
The Israeli company is working on facilities in Canada, US, Japan, Russia, central Europe, South East Asia, and Chile.
“We are excited to kick off this project that will integrate all the latest advancements in RAS technology. These projects will provide important local production capabilities to markets that today import the vast majority of their fish and seafood,” said marketing and sales chief Shai Silbermann.
The €175 million French RAS facility will create more than 160 permanent jobs and has received significant support from the French government at local, regional and national levels, including grants and other financial support, as well as administrative assistance.
Pure Salmon already produces fish at a 450-tonne on-land facility in Poland built by AquaMaof, which is Pure Salmon’s technology partner. The Polish plant is being used as Pure Salmon’s R&D and training facility.
Pure Salmon has agreements in place to build a 10,000-tonne salmon RAS in Japan, and 20,000-tonne RAS facilities in the land-locked southern African state of Lesotho, and in Tazewell County in Virginia in the United States, where it is getting $20m of development assistance.
US and China
It has also signed a deal to build a 10,000-tonne RAS facility in Brunei, and has its sights sets on further facilities in the US and China.
The plants will include hatcheries, grow-out tanks and processing facilities.
Pure Salmon aims to eventually grow 260,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon per year at on-land farms near major centres of population.