Brunei Darussalam recently made significant strides in the aquaculture industry as an attractive foreign direct investment (FDI) destination. Among the highly anticipated projects are the production of Atlantic salmon and sea bass, both signed between Brunei and Singapore to penetrate the international market.
Under the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the Strategic Development Capital Fund signed an agreement with 8F Asset Management Pte Ltd from Singapore on December 10, 2019.
With this agreement, Brunei will produce Atlantic salmon using a land-based farming facility equipped with a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), with the capacity of 10,000 tonnes whole-fish-equivalent per annum.
The first and largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, the RAS facility will recirculate over 99 per cent of the water using cutting-edge filtration and oxygenation systems. The system ensures that the water is free from plastic, diseases and sea lice. This negates the use of any antibiotics or pesticides, a problem faced by majority of sea-cage farming methods.
The facility will be run and supported by Pure Salmon Pte Ltd, which is the global operating company for 8F’s investments. The company will provide a range of expertise with its team of industry veterans in hatchery, production, processing, purchasing, quality assurance, distribution and brand management.
Once operational, the project is expected to generate 145 employment opportunities. In addition, the facility will supply salmon products such as fillets and smoked salmon domestically and regionally.
Another highly anticipated project is the sea bass hatchery, signed between Brunei and Singapore on May 2, 2019. The hatchery will be used for the production of juvenile barramundi, also known as Asia sea bass, to be supplied to offshore fish cages. Under the contract, Barramundi Asia will develop a 6,613-hectare area at the Nankivell Offshore Aquaculture Site and a 25.1-hectare site located in Kampong Meragang.
The company will invest BND18 million for the first phase of its project. In addition, Barramundi Asia will adopt the advanced technologies and sustainable aquaculture husbandry and farming practices employed in Europe.
By the year 2024, the project is expected to produce 4,000 metric tonnes of barramundi by 2024. The farm will be fully operational by 2032, capable of producing 36,000 metric tonnes of sea bass worth over BND324 million.
Once fully operational, the project will significantly boost Brunei’s total fisheries production and export. The project will also create many spin-off businesses in the country such as the logistics and services sectors. The sea bass hatchery agreement is a long-term investment and commitment made by Barramundi Asia for at least 30 years, with the possibility to be extended for another 30 years.
Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd is the leading seafood company in Brunei with organic blue shrimps as its primary product. The company started off in 2002 with a hatchery for shrimp and fish fry before expanding into developing shrimp farms, fishmeal and feed mill plants. In 2012, Golden Corporation established the first integrated seafood processing plant in Brunei.
The plant produces frozen fish and shrimp, surimi, fish meal, fish oil and aquatic feed. In addition to producing blue shrimps, Golden Corporation has also invested in fishing vessels capable of operating in deeper marine zone areas of Brunei. This allows Golden Corporation to catch high-grade yellowfin tuna and skipjacks.
Golden Corporation has successfully marketed products to international markets such as Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan and the European Union.
Pure Fresh International Holdings Limited set up its first Southeast Asian processing centre near Muara Port, in collaboration with Ghanim International Corporation Sdn Bhd. Costing more than BND10 million, the processing centre has been in operation since April 2018, processing blue shrimps for export to China.
On December 13, 2018, Pure Fresh and Ghanim signed an agreement for the development of aquaculture and exports to China. Over BND400 million will be invested for the project over a period of five years. Its main product, frozen blue shrimp, will be primarily exported to China.
The project development plan includes the establishment of aquaculture farms, a hatchery for the breeding of blue shrimps and a large-scale seafood processing centre.
Yamako Pacific (Brunei) Sdn Bhd is a joint venture between Brunei and Japanese-centric Yamako Pacific group, known for collaborating and enhancing local industry players to international standards.
Operating since April 2018, Yamako Pacific (Brunei) is a local seafood processing company that specialises in processing yellowfin and skipjack tuna into high quality products. The company exported its first container to Japan in July 2018 and doubled its exports the following month. Its Proton freezer maintains the quality and freshness of the tuna to be exported, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Besides Japan, Yamako Pacific (Brunei) is also looking to break into new export markets in the future such as China, Europe and the United States.
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