Singapore RAS chief executive Esben Johnsen pictured front of the city state's famous Marina Bay Sands hotel. Photo: Singapore RAS.

Singapore salmon farmer agrees Benchmark deal

Benchmark Genetics has signed a long-term agreement to deliver Atlantic salmon eggs to Singapore RAS, which plans a salmon recirculating aquaculture system facility in Singapore.

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In a press release, Benchmark said Singapore RAS was in the final stages of financing the first construction phase of a 1,000-tonne capacity facility. The company plans to expand capacity to up to 3,000 tonnes in the next stage.

Singapore RAS has close relations with Norway and has worked on the plans for local production of Atlantic salmon since January 2020. It will be the first company to farm Atlantic salmon in Singapore and is aiming to supply the local home market only.

Ova from Iceland

Benchmark will supply genetics from its Icelandic facilities as soon as the Singapore RAS hatchery and freshwater site is in operation, projected in 2023.

Singapore RAS chief executive Esben Johnsen describes himself on his LinkedIn as a highly experienced project manager in blue economy, renewables and oil and gas internationally - in particular across South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.

He said: “We are building a RAS-based facility for Atlantic salmon in Singapore with a strong focus on sustainability and circular economy, using learnings from similar commercial projects in Northern Europe. We aim to build a successful commercial venture that can become a regional centre of knowledge and RAS application in South-East Asia.

“Signing with Benchmark is a part of our widespread stakeholder engagement, which already includes some 10 MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) and strong agreements with future suppliers and partners.”

On-land contracts

The agreement is the latest in a number of long-term contracts Benchmark Genetics has signed to supply ova to on-land salmon farms.

Customers include Pure Salmon, which intends to produce 260,000 tonnes of salmon in 10,000- and 20,000-tonne capacity RAS built worldwide, including China.

Geir Olav Melingen, commercial director of Benchmark Genetics, said: “We are pleased to have signed yet another agreement with a RAS project in Asia, believing that this region will be at the forefront of the growth in the land-based salmon segment worldwide.

“The fact that Singapore RAS will have a high focus on sustainability, R&D and deployment and embedding of new technologies makes the company a perfect partner for Benchmark.”