Aquaculture for all

RAS expansion granted for crab project in South Carolina

Crabs Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) Investment +4 more

Blue Star Foods – a Miami-based sustainable seafood company with a focus on RAS – has been granted an option to purchase land for its RAS expansion in South Carolina to support its soft-shell crab operation.

Atlantic blue crabs

© Shutterstock

Blue Star Foods has revealed that Atlantic blue crab will be the main species supporting its crab project, with the company targeting 3.5 million crabs per year.

The Miami-based company – which also owns and operates the oldest continuously operating RAS full grow-out salmon farm in North America – is working closely with the South Carolina Department of Commerce regarding economic development and incentives specific to its crab project in Beaufort County.

The company is reviewing the incentive summary with the proposed tax breaks, abatements and other incentives offered for the project to finalise the capital needed to build the facility, with preliminary proposals from South Carolina offering up to $3 million in incentives.

The selected land has 9.47 acres, which can accommodate a 100,000 square foot building. An approximate investment of $11,410,000 in real property – both land and building – will be used to construct the new facility, plus the required tangible property such as machinery and equipment. Furthermore, the integration of a crab hatchery at the facility will allow the company to be vertically integrated.

“We are thrilled to partner with Beaufort County, South Carolina in expanding our soft-shell crab RAS shedding operations, processing and cold storage facility,” commented John Keeler, chairman and CEO of Blue Star Foods, in a press release. “Our special purpose vehicle financing will kick-off once we execute our agreement with Beaufort County, and along with $3 million in incentives, will enable us to access less dilutive capital in order to purchase the land and build our facility.”

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