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$57.6m NT barramundi farm expansion to create local jobs

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Posted by Monica Gameng

Humpty Doo Barramundi - a barramundi farm near Darwin - is going to be the first Northern Territory recipient of funds from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), with approximately $28.7 million invested for the business’ expansion.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said that the NAIF Board’s first investment in NT is welcome news. The Minister added that he is expecting more investments from NAIF in the future that will support job-creating infrastructure projects in the State.

“This decision comes as a result of the NAIF Board’s revised Investment Mandate.

“The revised mandate was designed to increase the NAIF Board’s flexibility to support projects that deliver jobs and economic opportunities in the North,” Mr Canavan said.

An initial $7.18 million loan from NAIF has been provided to jump-start the first stage of a three-stage expansion of the barramundi farm. In addition, the ANZ Bank has also invested the same amount for the delivery of Stage 1 of the expansion - with the project valued at $14.4 million.

The first stage of the expansion will include:

  • Construction of a solar farm that will generate an initial 2MW of electricity to reduce the reliance on natural gas generated electricity
  • Development of a specialised barramundi nursery that will help reduce bird predation and grow smaller farm-ready fish for other aquaculture farms for the first time in the Territory
  • Introduction of the Territory’s first automatic feed storage and distribution facility to protect feed from feral animals based on internationally recognised aquaculture technology
  • An ice-making facility for product quality

“This project will create 50 additional jobs and provide a direct benefit to the local economy.

“Stage 1 entails the construction of a solar farm and fish nursery, and purchasing of processing equipment. There will potentially be additional funding for a further two stages,” Mr Canavan said.

Mr Canavan added that this investment will help grow the aquaculture business in NT as well as help meet the growing domestic and global demand for seafood in the market.

According to Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, this NAIF investment will be delivering more jobs and economic opportunities for the local community.

“The Territory Government’s number one priority is to create jobs for locals, and this NAIF investment delivers real jobs and develops the entrepreneurial potential of the North.

“Humpty Doo Barramundi expects to double the number of people it employs from 50 to 100 by the time this project is complete,” Mr Gunner said.

Humpty Doo Barramundi will match NAIF’s fund with their own $28.9 million investment towards the three-stage expansion - which is valued at $57.6 million. The barramundi farm is expected to triple its output to 10,000 tonnes annually.

“The NAIF loan and our own investment will benefit the wider community, allowing us in time to open opportunities to others in the region that want to venture into aquaculture. Overall, the opportunity will ensure all Australians and the world in general have access to Australian grown seafood every day,” Humpty Doo Barramundi Owner and General Manager of Operations Dan Richards said.

The expansion is going to be delivered in stages over a five-year period from mid-2018 to 2022.

What are your thoughts on this project? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Source: Northern Territory Government, News.com.au, Humpty Doo Barramundi

Monica Gameng

Monica Gameng

Monica is a Marketing Assistant who handles blog content creation. She has a background in IT and has passion for research and writing.