29 April 2019


North Queensland project closer to plating up prawns

A $100 million aquaculture project is closer to serving up 2,700 tonnes of North Queensland’s black tiger prawns grown using a world-first bioremediation technology created in conjunction with James Cook University

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick today granted special status as a prescribed project for Pacific Biotechnologies’ Guthalungra Aquaculture project, 40 kilometres north of Bowen.

“The Queensland Government supports the future development and growth of an ecologically sustainable, diverse and innovative aquaculture industry”.

“The project is expected to support 130 construction jobs and, once complete, 220 operational jobs,” he said.

“The Guthalungra prawn farm will also set a new global benchmark for water remediation in the aquaculture industry. Their technology uses algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from waste water to such an extent that the facility will be at zero net discharge making it a Reef Safe enterprise”

“Australians love their prawns, and soon they will get to enjoy 2,700 tonnes of black tiger prawns each year as anticipated by the proponent.

“The Guthalungra facility will be the second North Queensland aquaculture project for Pacific Bio, which already operates the Pacific Reef Fisheries facility in Ayr, which produces 1,000 tonnes of black tiger prawns annually.

“Aquaculture is the fastest growing food industry globally. This project will reduce the burden of harvesting black tiger prawns in the wild while helping to manage biosecurity risks.”

Mr Dick said the proponent proposes to construct 259 one-hectare aquaculture ponds, 1.5 metres deep on a total site area of approximately 768 hectares.

The project will also include:

  • 11 ha seawater storage pond that has 370 megalitre storage capacity
  • 47 ha discharge remediation area
  • intake and treated discharge water pipelines approximately 5.5 kilometres long
  • freshwater storage pond and water reticulation system
  • seafood processing facilities
  • farm support infrastructure (feed storage, workshops, general storage and accommodation).

Pacific Reef Fisheries (Bowen) Pty Ltd intends to commence earthworks on the site in the middle of this year.

Mr Dick said prescribed project status enables the independent Coordinator-General to assist the proponent to progress the project, including ensuring timely approvals across governments.

The OCG is already working closely with the proponent to help them secure operational works approvals with the aim of starting construction in July 2019 and will continue to work with the proponent in obtaining the remaining approvals.


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