Barramundi Group's broodstock and hatchery RAS unit will supply its marine pens in Brunei and a 3,000-tonne RAS grow-out facility.

Maltese RAS supplier chosen to build barramundi hatchery in Brunei

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Barramundi Group has awarded Malta’s AquaBioTech Group a turnkey contract for the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) broodstock, hatchery and live feed facility for barramundi (sp. Lates calcarifer) in Brunei, an oil-rich monarchy on the island of Borneo.

The new RAS broodstock and hatchery facility is the second key milestone in the strategic development plan for Barramundi Group’s Brunei subsidiary Barramundi Group (B) Sdn Bhd (BGBN). The new facility complements BGBN’s earlier investment of its already-operational RAS nursery.

The new facility is scheduled to be completed and commissioned within 18 months, making the Brunei operations fully self-sufficient with broodstock, live feed, larviculture, fry and fingerling production for its current stocking at sea.

Six million juveniles

Peak production capability of the new facility will be more than six million juveniles per year, which will be enough to cater for additional juvenile requirements for a new 3,000-tonne land-based RAS grow-out facility known as BG2.0. BGBN is in the intermediate design phase of this facility, for its 17-hectare Mengsalut site, with AquaBioTech Group.

Chief executives James Kwan, left, and Shane Hunter at the contract signing for the new broodstock and hatchery RAS facility in Brunei.

“This contract is significant not just for AquaBioTech Group, but also for Brunei,” said AquaBioTech Group chief executive Shane A. Hunter. “This project will be a significant catalyst for the development of barramundi and other land-based aquaculture initiatives in Brunei, strengthening food security and enabling the country to explore new export markets.”

A game changer

Barramundi Group chief executive James Kwan said: “Having this new RAS broodstock and hatchery facility integrated into our existing and operational RAS nursery is a game changer. When commissioned, we will be able to produce consistently, the highest-performance juveniles from our own pathogen-resilient and genetically superior broodstock, unhindered by external constraints.

“For Brunei Darussalam, a second state-of-the-art RAS facility in the country enhances its overall food and biosecurity posture and adds another cornerstone in its nascent but fast-growing aquaculture sector.

“AquaBioTech has proven to be particularly suited to designing a tropical RAS with their deep multidisciplinary bench and track record; and we are very pleased to be working with them not only for this RAS, but also our BG2.0 3,000-tonne grow-out facility in Mengsalut.”

Barramundi Group’s operation spans the entire value chain, from genetics and fish health, autogenous vaccine development to farming, product innovation and distribution.

Its research and development, sales, and vaccine development teams, are based in Singapore and its production centre is in Brunei. It has secured more 8,000 hectares of sea and land leases in Brunei and has been farming there since 2021.