Last Friday in Marystown, Newfoundland and Labrador, representatives from Grieg NL officially launched the company’s $250-million aquaculture project in Placentia Bay with support from both the provincial and federal governments.
The launch followed the project’s release from a comprehensive environmental assessment process, which included more than 15 conditions to ensure the project proceeds in an environmentally-sustainable manner.
“We worked hard to achieve an agreement that balances significant environmental considerations with financial safeguards,” said Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources. “We have established a common goal with industry to double salmonid production as part of The Way Forward, and are proud to say that this project will make Newfoundland and Labrador the largest salmon aquaculture producer in eastern Canada.”
Grieg NL plans to invest more than $210 million in the project, which will include establishing a hatchery and land-based smolt production facility, as well as sea-based operations. They are joined in the endeavor by provincially-based partner Ocean Choice International. As the project successfully satisfies employment and performance targets and demonstrates compliance with environmental conditions, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will provide repayable financial assistance to support the development, totalling up to $30 million, through the Aquaculture Capital Equity Program. Provincial funding will complement a $10 million repayable federal investment through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program.
A financial and economic impact analysis by the Department of Finance estimates that once fully operational in 2025, this project will generate $33 million in labour income and $82.5 million in Gross Domestic Product annually.
“The Government of Canada is making strategic investments like this one announced in Marystown today, to build on competitive regional advantages and support diversification of our communities,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “This project represents a major global investment in a rural-based strategic industry and fits well with our government’s priorities around innovation and clean technology.”
The project is expected to generate more than 800 new jobs once full production is reached. This estimate is based on the company’s prediction of approximately 440 direct jobs at Grieg NL and processing facilities, and approximately 380 other jobs in affiliated sectors.
“Grieg NL is pleased with today’s announcement of our partnership with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We look forward to building a vibrant salmon-farming industry which will be a significant and long-term contributor to Placentia Bay,” Said Thomas W. Grieg, owner, Grieg NL.
This project represents a significant step towards achieving the goal set out in The Way Forward on Aquaculture to increase salmonid aquaculture production to 50,000 tonnes per year, and double provincial employment in aquaculture.