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Russian company to invest millions in land-based salmon farm

The new facility will be equipped with a closed water supply plant, which has never been used in the Russian salmon farming.

Russian company Aquatrade is planning to invest RUB 500 million (€6.8 million/$7.7 million) into a new land-based salmon farm in the Leningrad region, according to Russia’s Kommersant.

The new RAS technology has never been used before in the country's salmon farming sector, which at least one market watcher believes will pose problems.

Ilya Bereznuk, managing partner of Agro & Food Communications and a former spokesperson for Russian Aquaculture, told IntraFish the need for freshwater access, filtration and energy will be costly.

But the main disadvantage of land-based farmed salmon production is the long payback period, according to Bereznuk.

“It takes between two to three years to get the first harvest and sale of fish from the release of fry to market," Bereznuk said. "This period will likely be longer in land-based fish farming."

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The new facility will be able to produce 2,000 metric tons of farmed salmon per year and is scheduled to enter full operation in three stages, the first of which is planned to be completed in 2012, with the third to finish in 2023.

The company leased a plot of 42 hectares in the Lodeinopolsky district of the Leningrad region for the project.

“The new facility will be a full-cycle aquaculture production: from an egg to packaged chilled fish for delivery to retail chains," said Aquatrade CEO Boris Shevelev.

The company is planning to buy eggs in Denmark or South Africa and to supply the finished products to the Leningrad and Moscow regions.

Aquatrade declined to reveal what kind of salmon species would be farmed, citing trade secrets, however, Bereznuk guesses rainbow trout will be the species grown.

According to SPARK-Interfax, Aquatrade was founded in March this year as a sister company of OJSC Aquaculture, which also includes trout farm Nord-Ost-Rybprom, located in Karelia. The major shareholder is Petersburg billionaire Andrei Katkov, who holds a 66 percent stake in the company. The remainder of the shares are owned by Dmitry Gubko.

Katkov is also a co-founder of the Yavara-Neva judo sports club of judo and a former sparring partner of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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