Seafarms Group Limited The Future of Australian Aquaculture
Project Sea Dragon recently got the kick start it needed when Seafarms Group Limited successfully raised $92.5 million to fund Stage 1A construction. This will cost an estimated $281 million excluding contingencies.
Project Sea Dragon is a large-scale, integrated, land-based prawn aquaculture project that will be conducted at five locations across Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and Stage 1A will allow Seafarms to produce about 6,000 tonnes of high-quality tiger prawns a year once fully operational. All subsequent stages could produce more than 150,000 tonnes each year. Construction has commenced on facilities at Legune Station and Bynoe Harbour in the Northern Territory and Exmouth in Western Australia.
The construction phase has been a long time in the making, with Project Sea Dragon first being contemplated in 2012 and subsequently being awarded Major Project Status by the Federal Government in 2015, with the status renewed in 2019. Project Sea Dragon is currently the only food related project to have Major Project Status.
McCullough Robertson’s Construction and Infrastructure team, led by Partner Michael Rochester, advised Project Sea Dragon on its construction and infrastructure contracts, including civil infrastructure, consultancy and standard form documents. The project inherently had a large number of key stakeholders including, traditional owners, government and financiers. These stakeholders, as well as the risks involved were considered in the implementation of the project contracts.
The Western Australian and Northern Territory Governments have also demonstrated their support for the project, assisting with significant funding for a number of road upgrades including construction of bridges and sealing of roads to ensure fresh prawns can be transported to and from Legune Station all year round.
Project Sea Dragon is the first of its kind in Australia however aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food industries in the world and Australia’s unique climate that can support the farming of numerous aquatic animals means it won’t be the last.
We are proud to have supported Project Sea Dragon on its exciting journey so far, and look forward to continuing to support the development of this critical project.