Land-based salmon farmer AquaBounty Technologies said Monday it has begun site preparations for the construction of its planned 10,000-metric-ton salmon farm in Pioneer, Ohio.
It expects to begin building the farm itself this spring.
AquaBounty, which produces genetically modified salmon, said in November that it now expects the cost to build the new farm could run as much as 60 percent higher than its initial estimate.
The farm, which is projected to produce 10,000 metric tons of farmed salmon, was originally estimated to cost upwards of $200 million (€172 million), according to a company release issued in July.
AquaBounty now expects the 479,000-square-foot facility to cost between $290 million (€250 million) to $320 million (€276 million). The new estimate includes a $30 million (€26 million) reserve for potential cost overruns.
Company CEO Sylvia Wulf attributed the increased estimate to higher building material and recirculating aquaculture system technology (RAS) costs, as well the inclusion of an on-site processing plant and water treatment facility.
“The construction of roadways and on-site energy infrastructure, as well as the setting of surveyor’s benchmarks ahead of grading work, are underway as we speak," she said.
In May, after nearly two decades of development, AquaBounty kicked off its first commercial harvest from the company’s Indiana farm.
Samuels and Son Seafood, a Philadelphia-based seafood distributor of AquaBounty’s Atlantic salmon, has been the only customer so far to publicly announce it is selling the salmon.