Construction underway for Pure Salmon RAS facility in southwest Virginia

Construction has begun on what is expected to become one of the world’s largest Atlantic salmon recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities in the US state of Virginia, producing 20,000
metric tons per year, WCYB News 5, an NBC affiliate, reports.

Pure Salmon, the Abu Dhabi-based RAS company owned by 8F Asset Management, reportedly will invest $228 million in the operation planned for Tazewell and Russell counties and dubbed
“Project Jonah”, based on earlier reports. The new facility will be located next to Southwest Virginia Community College, according to the TV station, which said construction is expected to
be complete in 2023, providing more than 200 jobs.

A revenue-sharing agreement will benefit Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell counties.

Undercurrent News first reported on Pure Salmon’s plans for Virginia in February 2019, but it was unclear how fast things might come together. The project has been nearly a decade in discussion.
However, video shot by the TV station for a recent broadcast shows land at last being cleared.

“The construction effort is very visible and well underway off of Route 58 as Pure Salmon is building one of the world’s largest indoor aquaculture fish facilities that will raise fish from egg to plate,” the TV station said in its report.

“From an operations perspective, there is the growing of the actual salmon. That’s important. If you look at the total footprint of the facility, that’s where most of the infrastructure comes from.
On top of that, probably the more labor-intensive aspect of it, quite frankly, is the processing of the food – of the food, the fish,” project manager Paul Inskeep is recorded saying.

Singapore-based 8F has reportedly raised $358.8m to build a generation of land-based salmon farms in several countries, including also Poland, France, Italy, China and Japan. The fund, in
June, announced a deal to acquire RAS designer and supplier Kruger Kaldnes, as first reported by Undercurrent.