Aquaculture for all

New Zealand Salmon Plant Set to Grow

Salmonids Marketing Economics +3 more

NEW ZEALAND - Mt Cook Alpine Salmon has started small but expects to double its production within the next two years and be producing the "All Blacks of salmon".

The company celebrated the opening of its multi-million dollar processing plant at Washdyke this week.

Some of the company's fish is still being processed at Sonter Seafoods' plant in Christchurch, but Mt Cook Alpine Salmon's general manager Janine Tulloch said it hoped to bring everything "in house" by the start of next year.

"This is a big project, but we're doing it stages. We've started small. The people of Timaru have been very helpful along the way," she said.

There were 17 people working at the plant at the moment, and it will process about 700 tonnes of salmon in its first full year.

However, Ms Tulloch said it hoped this would increase to 1500 tonnes a year within the next two years.

"That will mean twice the number of employees required. We've started small, so we can do everything right. We're producing at the high-end of the market," she said.

The company farms on the Upper Waitaki hydro canals, and recently commissioned a new farm on Lake Ruataniwha. It has consents to farm up to 3500 tonnes per year.

The company employs about 40 people at its Twizel farm site, while it exported more than 80 per cent of its product to the United States.

Ms Tulloch said Timaru's location and environment made it an ideal choice.

The plant's construction began in April, but she said there had been about 18 months of planning and site-scoping before it got underway.

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