Animal feed giant Nutreco is investing in Dutch-land based farmer Kingfish Zeeland to double production in the Netherlands and begin the permitting process for its newly acquired location in Jonesport, Maine, CEO Ohad Maiman confirmed for IntraFish.

“Nutreco’s ambition is to continue to invest and partner with leaders in sustainable protein production around the globe,” Nutreco CEO Rob Koremans said.

“Over the past few years, it has become clear that the growing demand for seafood calls for development of alternative farming models such as RAS to complement the existing aquaculture methods.”

Nutreco joined Dutch investment fund Rabobank Corporate Investments and French private equity company Creadev in leading Kingfish Zeeland's fundraising round.

At present, Kingfish Zeeland is producing 600 metric tons in its "proof-of-concept" pilot facility. Following the completion of the funding, the company will be capable of producing 1,000 metric tons annually beginning in 2020, Maiman previously said.

The company's recently announced Maine facility is expected to produce 6,000 metric tons when it is completed.

Kingfish Zeeland's plan is to produce more than 20,000 metric tons per year over the next five years in the European and United States facilities combined.

The company first announced that it is raising finances for expansion with help from Norwegian investment bank Pareto Securties during the North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF) in March.

Kingfish Zeeland began harvesting yellowtail in November 2017. The yellowtail producer announced Jonesport as the location for its $110 million (€99.4 million) US recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in November.

The company has been honing in on the US market since 2018, when it strategically allocated around 20 percent of its production to the region to test the product's potential.