The world’s largest prawn farm not currently viable

In Business Resources, Featured Home Page News, Food, Northern Territory

Seafarms has conceded Project Sea Dragon a high profile NT aquaculture project to develop the world’s largest prawn farm, isn’t viable in its current form and has recommended against proceeding.

Seafarams revealed it was still committed to delivering Project Sea Dragon, however, there are several challenges and opportunities to de-risk that will have to be met.

A project review stated it would “not generate acceptable financial returns, the existing scope cannot be completed for targeted costs or achieve target completion dates, and the project currently involves unacceptable risk”.

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from NT News 6.4.22

A HIGH-profile NT aquaculture project has stalled.

Seafarms has conceded Project Sea Dragon – the world’s largest prawn farm, located on Legune Station about 340km southwest of Darwin – isn’t viable in its current form and has recommended against proceeding.

A project review stated it would “not generate acceptable financial returns, the existing scope cannot be completed for targeted costs or achieve target completion dates, and the project currently involves unacceptable risk”.

The company revealed, while it was still committed to delivering Project Sea Dragon, there were several challenges and opportunities to de-risk.

The review identified an increased focus on Project Sea Dragon’s Queensland operations.

“The project review confirms that the existing Queensland operations and assets will be key to delivering increased volume to domestic customers for both the short and long term,” it stated. “The review has further identified opportunities to invest in the Queensland operations to improve performance while building scale, capability and improved quality. Further investment into the Queensland operations is expected to provide support for future PSD requirements especially in respect of technology, systems, processes and capability.”

The review said it could take up to three years to re-scope the project, and that construction, breeding, processing, operating costs and logistics were all challenging due to distance and remoteness.

The project will need to be export-oriented because it is not considered feasible to service the domestic market for fresh or cooked product from PSD.

Construction will remain on hold pending completion of a successful farming pilot at Legune Station.

The federal, Territory and WA governments have contributed to the project. The NT government spent $56m on public roads, including $32.2m to upgrade Gunn Point Rd to a two-lane sealed standard.

The NT government said it supported any project that created local jobs, supported Territory businesses and expanded key industries.

“We will continue working with business and industries to ensure the Territory is Australia’s best investment destination,” a spokesman said.

He did not comment on the specific prawn project.

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