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Plan to boost nation’s farmed prawns fails

Plans to construct one of many world’s largest prawn farms at an outback cattle station within the Northern Territory have been shelved.

Mission Sea Dragon at Legune Station, about 340km southwest of Darwin, was set to double Australia’s prawn manufacturing.

However aquaculture firm Seafarms says the ten,000-hectare black tiger prawn pond venture was not financially possible in its present type.

The corporate stated “construction, breeding, processing, operating costs and logistics are all challenged due to distance and remoteness”.

“It will not generate acceptable financial return,” it stated in an investor briefing submitted to the Australian Securities Alternate on Friday.

“The existing scope cannot be completed for targeted costs or achieve target completion dates, and the project currently involves unacceptable risk.”

Pond building has been placed on maintain till its “unproven” manufacturing plan will be examined over the subsequent three years on the station, close to the Western Australian border.

Seafarms stated important worldwide markets for the prawns would additionally have to be developed as supplying the Australian home market with recent, cooked product from the distant location is unlikely to be possible.

Competing in opposition to decrease priced suppliers in different nations can also be prone to be an issue, given the present building prices per hectare.

The $1.87 billion venture was set to develop into the largest aqua-culture venture within the Southern Hemisphere, supplying 6000 tonnes of prawns per yr.

The corporate stated it “remains committed to delivering on the promise of Project Sea Dragon” nevertheless it might want to decrease the price of manufacturing.

It’s going to additionally proceed to produce recent and frozen, cooked, top quality product to home clients from its Queensland operations.

“There is strong domestic demand for quality product, supported by pressure on wild caught fisheries and a renewed drive to localise supply chains and replace imports in a post-COVID, higher risk world,” Seafarms stated.

Australia produces about 5000 tonnes of prawns yearly, based on the Australian Prawn Farmers Affiliation.

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