Aquaculture North America

Planned salmon RAS farm in Iowa eyes upscale restaurant market

October 28, 2016
By Liza Mayer

A startup company planning to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmon production facility near Harlan, Iowa is eyeing high-end restaurants in the Midwest as markets for its production.

         “Our production will be focused on the upscale restaurant market in the Midwest; markets like Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha, Kansas City and Minneapolis,” Jackson Kimle, VP Business Development of Inland Sea–Harlan LLC, told Aquaculture North America (ANA).

         The company’s proposed facility will have a two-acre footprint in an industrial park, selected for its readily available, low-cost utilities and water as well as its excellent access to highway, interstate, and air transportation. Iowa is one of the lowest cost feed ingredient locations in the world and the cost of electricity is one of the most competitive in the US, the company said. It believes that salmon production in Iowa will have an out-of-the-gate transportation cost advantage of approximately $0.50 to $1.00 compared to salmon consumed locally that’s sourced from Norway or Chile.

         Inland Sea started its equity drive in early September to raise roughly $12 million in equity capital to finance a portion of the construction and operating costs for the proposed RAS facility. “Our response from investors has been great.  We had good attendance at the meetings and have had a lot of requests for investment information,” Kimle told ANA.

         The facility is expected to be the largest RAS salmon production system in the United States. Its construction, expected to begin this year, is estimated to cost about $27.6 million. It is expected to bring in roughly 5.3 million pounds of salmon annually and annual revenues of approximately $16 to $20 million, depending upon prices and actual salmon production. The company’s first harvest is planned for 2018.

 —Liza Mayer

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