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New floor built as Skretting Australia doubles its capacity. (Photo: Skretting)

Skretting expands along with aquaculture industry

Click on the flag for more information about New Zealand NEW ZEALAND
Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 02:40 (GMT + 9)

Skretting owner Nutreco has invested EUR 20 million to double the capacity of its feed centre in Tasmania. The company is installing a second extruder line and modernising the existing line and site infrastructure as a result of growing aquaculture and seafood consumption in Australia and New Zealand.

"We are running at capacity and our market is expanding at 10 per cent a year," elaborated Managing Director of Skretting Australia James Rose. "Doubling capacity sends a strong signal that we believe in the future of aquaculture here and intend to grow with it.”

He noted that aquaculture is the quickest growing animal production sector in both Australia and NZ. 

“The majority of feed produced by Skretting is for salmonids; Atlantic and Chinook salmon and trout, however barramundi and yellowtail have grown substantially in importance in recent years and are important markets to support," Rose continued.

As well, Skretting Australia manufactures feeds for the expanding production of southern bluefin tuna (SBT). 
Skretting Australia. (Photo: Skretting)

"Aquaculture production in this region could more than double in the next seven years, especially if the breeding of tuna becomes a routine process," Rose added. 

Skretting’s expansion project is scheduled to be finished this August, just in time to satisfy demand in the peak production season.

Further, the firm is considering building a feed mill in New Zealand to avoid the import of thousands of tonnes of fish feed. 

In the past 10 years, Skretting has cut the amount of raw materials it needs to import for its feed in Australia from 70 to 30 per cent, and wants to achieve the same results in NZ.

Rose said the company concluded that even though the small size of the country’s farmed fin fish industry - now at about 10,000 tonnes a year - would not make a mill there viable, at 25,000 yearly tonnes the economics became "very interesting," reports BusinessDay.

New legislation introduced into Parliament is meant to streamline the process for gaining approval for aquaculture projects, which the industry believes will allow for smoother growth. The sector seeks to triple its size to yield yearly revenue of NZD 1 billion (USD 765.8 million) by 2025.

Although, Rose said, feed mills generate a relatively small number of jobs, at probably fewer than 30, a large portion of the primary source material for the feed could be sourced locally.

"As we've grown, we've placed our feed mills where the action is...If there's a good market and it operates in a good economic framework, then Skretting invests where the growth is," he concluded.

Related article:

- Feed product developed for captive tuna 

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 

Photo Courtesy of FIS Member  Skretting AS - Headquarters
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