Southern Ocean Mariculture is currently mid-way through its capital expansion program which will see an increase in abalone production from the current 75 tons to a farm with 110-ton capacity.
The expansion has been approximately 18 months in the planning phase, with capital requirements; construction specifications and timeframes; and stock levels having to be carefully built up to fill these new tanks when they are built.
The major single component of the works has been the laying of the concrete slabs for the 96 abalone tanks that make up the expansion. The concrete works commenced before Christmas 2016 and are now approximately 90% complete. Southern Ocean Mariculture maintenance staff are undertaking all remaining works which include erecting the buildings; connecting and fitting the necessary pipework, building settlement ponds and the installation of all other farm equipment.
The maintenance staff can be seen here completing the first 24 tanks, which will allow the production staff to relocate the additional stock that had been planned for as part of this expansion project. It is expected that all 96 tanks will be fully operational by December 2017.