Billund Aquaculture begins construction of post-smolt RAS fish farm for Salmones Austral

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The works of this innovative project—the first of its kind in Chile— began in July and contemplate the production of post-smolt-Atlantic salmon of 300g, which could reach 500g in future stages.

Billund Aquaculture, a company specialized in the development of recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS), announced that it has reached an agreement with the Chilean salmon farming company Salmones Austral, for the design and construction of a post-smolt RAS fish farm in the Llaquepe sector, on the southern bank of the Reloncavi Estuary, in the Los Lagos Region.

The facilities, with an initial annual production capacity of 6,000,000 post-smolt salmon, will use both fresh and sea water and are projected to start operations in the second quarter of 2021.

According to the CEO of Billund Aquaculture Chile, Marcelo Varela, this project represents a very significant milestone for land-based aquaculture in Chile.

“It opens up a new phase of large-scale investment. This is a new era that lays the foundations for the mixed aquaculture model, which consists of a previous grow-out phase on land to bring a more robust fish to the grow-out centers at sea, thereby achieving a more efficient and sustainable production cycle,” he pointed out.

He also stressed that this project will trigger the quick development of seawater RAS initiatives in Chile.

“Post-smolt production requires much higher feeding capacities and volumes of water than that used for smolt production. Therefore, tackling this type of project poses significant challenges for the RAS provider, since it must have a solid structure and a great deal of experience.”

Finally, Varela added that “the fact that Salmones Austral has decided to carry out such a major investment is worth noting; it is a commitment to innovation, to community responsibility and, at the same time, shows that this type of project is a long-term strategy.”