The loan, through the Aquaculture Capital Equity Program, comes on top of a Can$10m repayable federal investment through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program.
“This equity investment from Government of Newfoundland and Labrador anchors Grieg NL’s significant investment of Can$210m in the project”, said Thomas Grieg, owner Grieg NL.
“Our financers and investors see this equity investment as a sign of confidence in the project. Our company appreciates the government’s aggressive approach to cultivate investment in aquaculture, and its determined approach to ensuring this equity investment also creates employment and business opportunities in Placentia Bay and throughout the province.
“We also appreciate the province’s rigorous environmental policies leading to the acceptance of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),” added Grieg.
Grieg NL is now working through the terms and conditions of the EIS release and the equity investment.
The company is preparing to start construction of a land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) hatchery in the Marystown Industrial Park this autumn and is getting ready to contract suppliers and services for the Marystown hatchery and the 11 salmon farms in Placentia Bay.
The attitude of the NL government is in stark contrast to that of British Columbia, which changed the rules in June to make it harder for salmon farmers to renew site tenures, and whose agriculture minister, Lana Popham, is an admirer of veteran anti-salmon farming campaigner Alexandra Morton.
The NL government wants to increase salmon production to 50,000 metric tonnes annually, and double employment in the industry.
Grieg NL plans to import fertilised eggs from Stofnfiskur in Iceland to produce sterile salmon which will be grown to a size of up to 1.5kg in post-smolt facilities before being set out at the 11 farms sites the company will establish in Placentia Bay.