Nova Austral building $30Mn smolt facility

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Chilean salmon grower, Salmonella Nova Austral, has said it plans to open a USD 30 million salmon farm by the end of 2018, El Mercurio has reported.

Backed by foreign investors Altor Funds III and Bain Capital, Nova Austral already produces around 30,000 tonnes of salmon in Magallanes, a province removed from most other players in the southern Los Lagos and Aysen. The company will look to produce its own smolts in a new facility at Porvenir rather than risk contagion on the regular juvenile-salmon transport route from Los Lagos, company chief exec, Nicos Nicolaides, was reported as saying.

“Nova Austral is the only (grower) in Chile that has not use antibiotics since January 2015,” he reportedly said.

Vaccines against the uniquely Magallanes disease, BKD, have cut out the use antibiotics in the company grow-outs, he said.

Interestingly, Nicolaides is cited as saying the company exports to Sweden and is “trying to reach England, where Chilean salmon is banned”. Russia, Western Europe and Asia are said to have remained key markets for the South of 60 brand.

“What we try to do is sell our salmon at the same price that the Norwegians sell, that is, a higher value than the local product,” he was quoted as saying.