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Clean Seas' Whyalla fish farm delayed

Business

The opening of Clean Seas’ $20 million fish farm near Whyalla has been delayed for at least six months, as negotiations over access to a State Government-owned marina continue.

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The seafood company told investors this morning that the opening of its new 4000-tonne farm at Fitzgerald Bay would be delayed until the next operational window, mid-next year.

“The delay has arisen as there are a number of outstanding arrangements to be resolved in order to resume use of the Point Lowly Marina and the company has now missed the operating window to commence farming this year,” a Clean Seas statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, published this morning, reads.

“Point Lowly Marina is the closest suitable infrastructure to the company’s Fitzgerald Bay aquaculture leases and the use of this facility is key to the successful operation of the farm.

“The company is currently engaging with the State Government, who (sic) is the owner of the facility, and the local Council, who is a licensee of the facility, to progress options for the use of the marina.”

CEO David Head told InDaily the new farm was “very, very important for the business” and that it would create 50 jobs.

“It’s critical to our expansion program and it’s a $20 million investment,” he said during a phone interview this morning.

“It’ll be our first 4000-tonne-plus farm.”

He said the State Government had been “very, very supportive” towards the company and that he hoped negotiations over Point Lowly Marina would be resolved within the “coming weeks and months”.

“We’re just working through a process to finalise those arrangements,” he said, adding the delay would have no impact on the company’s revenue.

He said the main impact was on ten employees, who had been trained up for the new facility and would continue to work for Clean Seas outside Whyalla until the farm opens.

“They are effectively recruited from Whyalla,” he said.

“I’m sure they would like to … go back to Whyalla and start to work now.

“Obviously there were some disappointed people.”

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