First commercial Aquaponic Project will be Developed in Chile.
Chile: The initiative will be carried out subsequent to the agreement signed between Lago Sofía, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Pentair, using recirculating wastewater from salmon farming facilities located at Chinquihue.
Lago Sofía, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Pentair will sign an MOU for the development and management of aquaponic systems using wastewater from salmon farming plants with the idea of formalizing a commercial escalation of the project, which has never been seen in the Chilean aquaculture industry before, since until now these type of initiatives have only been carried out at a community or a research level.
The initiative is called Lago Sofia Circular Food and in an interview with Salmonexpert, Miguel Portus, Strategic Growth Manager at Lago Sofía, who is familiarized with the fish farming sector due to having worked for several years in Los Fiordos and EWOS, states that “aquaponics is the alternative we were seeking to become part of the Circular Economy programs that are being encouraged in Chile, giving a better use to the water utilized in our recirculation fish farming plant, located 12 kilometers from Puerto Montt in the Chinquihue area.”
This means that an intensive production of vegetables will be carried out, making the most of the nutrients and energy in the water in order to commercially escalate with a premium product that will be available in the local market as well as abroad and that will also benefit the surrounding community. “In a nice mix of aquaculture and agriculture we will begin with the prototype now and at the end of 2019 we should be having our first results.”
Here the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is the scientific partner responsible for seeking the best way to commercially escalate this initiative. Pentair is the technology partner in charge of the expansion under greenhouse-controlled conditions. “Our contribution are the resources, the land and the idea along with the subsequent administration,” says Portus.
CGO at Lago Sofia Circular Food points out that with these types of aquaponic projects the production of vegetables is reduced by 50% reusing the left-over water from the salmon farming recirculation, transforming it into a sustainable agricultural production, an important added value with which the use of energy and the carbon footprint are reduced, hopefully neutralizing the latter.
The aim is to also create a technological nucleus on site creating academic lines for graduates and undergraduates. “By means of this huge project that will be an oasis in the middle of a highly industrialized area, we believe we can become a B company”, says the executive.
In Portus’ opinion the local salmon farming industry should bridge the gap to Circular Economy. “This is a marvelous sector he says, which has run across all the possible paths of growth very rapidly, but I believe its time to play an active part in recycling wastes following the line in which Chile is moving. There is so much that can be reused.”