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Salmon RAS gains carbon credibility from UK government minister

Atlantic Salmon Sustainability Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) +5 more

David Duguid, the UK Government Minister for Scotland, visited Scottish Sea Farms’ salmon hatchery at Barcaldine today, as part of a tour of Argyll to see the progress being made towards the UK becoming a net zero nation.

Minister Duguid at the Barcaldine RAS

© Scottish Sea Farms

Minister Duguid – who is a keen advocate of a green energy transition – was shown round the £58 million facility by Scottish Sea Farms and AMP Clean Energy.

Amongst the green technologies in operation was the hatchery’s 600kw biomass energy system, thought to deliver the biggest CO2 savings of any renewable heat source.

Owned, installed and maintained by AMP Clean Energy, the system uses locally sourced, sustainably managed wood chip to provide the 17,500 sqm building with much of its heat and hot water, saving 683 tonnes of carbon a year compared with using oil. That’s the equivalent of six million road miles per year by car.

Also on show was the facility’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), which is able to circulate, clean and recirculate up to 98 per cent of freshwater used per day; capture waste material for re-purposing as agricultural fertiliser; and maintain a more constant water temperature, significantly reducing the energy needed to heat or cool water.

These efficiencies are further complemented elsewhere in the building by motion-sensor internal lighting and wind and solar powered external lighting, with provision for a hydro scheme, so that hatchery can generate more energy in a greener way.

Minister Duguid said: “I’ve been so impressed at the green approach of this state-of-the-art facility. Scottish Sea Farms’ water-saving and waste-recycling measures, coupled with the use of AMP Clean Energy’s environmentally-sound biomass heating system, prove that it is possible to forge ahead in innovation to sustain the sector while still meeting our net zero objectives.

“The UK Government has ambitious climate commitments and it’s by embracing measures such as these and accelerating decarbonisation that industry will be future-proofed to protect and create jobs.”

Leading the tour was Scottish Sea Farms head of sustainability Anne Anderson who said: “Like any food producer, we’re working hard to minimise any impact from our activities on the environment, not just via our new Barcaldine Hatchery but across the business: from our marine farms to our processing and packing facilities, through to essential support services such as IT and logistics. It has been a pleasure offering Minister Duguid a glimpse into some of the many initiatives underway.”