According to the company, the facility and several other EcoParks are breaking ground in Australia this year and will enable large-scale commercial production of the company's Asparagopsis-based animal supplements for enteric methane mitigation.
For the EcoPark, CH4 Global will repurpose a brownfield site at Ocean Beach, a land-based aquaculture park near Bluff that is on track to become the largest such park in New Zealand.
Phase 1 kicks off this year with the beginning of construction, with full production by the middle of 2023. In Phase 2, the facility will be expanded to 500 bioreactors with the capacity to supply raw material required for the company's feedlot formulation for up to 15,000 head of cattle.
Currently, the Ocean Beach brownfield site is being upgraded to meet CH4 Global's requirements. A leading provider of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) in the region, Fresh By Design, has been commissioned to design and construct the facility.
The CH4 Global EcoPark model is designed to maximize efficiencies and build sustainability into all aspects of the facility and its operation. The company's integrated system for growing and processing Asparagopsis seaweed will include regional hatcheries.
CH4 Global achieved another major milestone in June 2022, when it announced the first commercial sale of its Asparagopsis-based livestock supplement that reduces enteric methane by up to 90 percent. The new CH4 Global EcoPark at Ocean Beach will guarantee controlled, consistent Asparagopsis production as the company expands commercial supply to the Australian and New Zealand markets. Most of the seaweed will be exported to Australia for use in the large feedlot cattle market. At any one time, there are more than 1.5 million cattle being finished on Australian feedlots for local and international markets.
Commenting on the announcement, CH4 Aotearoa GM Nigel Little, said: "This is a key milestone in our path to full commercialisation. This EcoPark is proof of our ability to scale our technology on a sound commercial basis – both for us and for the farmers that use our product. It will be the first of many EcoParks planned over the next five years. We will be working closely with Blair and his team at Ocean Beach who share our passion and vision."
Commenting on the announcement, Ocean Beach managing director Blair Wolfgram, said: "We are very excited about our partnership with the CH4 Global team that has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of challenging years. The technology CH4 have developed to grow this exceptional seaweed at scale is very impressive. Globally, Steve Meller; and Nigel Little, domestically here in Aotearoa, have built an incredibly talented team with a true international outlook for this worldwide issue. CH4 have a strong alignment with Ocean Beach's aspiration to be an Aquaculture Centre of Excellence and will be a significant contributor with our other partners to growing the aquaculture industry in Murihiku/Southland. We are sure the founder of Ocean Beach and former Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, would be very proud that what he created at Ocean Beach is now being utilised to grow a seaweed that helps farmers fight against global warming."