- Ocean Grown Abalone's new storage and processing centre opens at Augusta
- $3.4 million facility supported with almost $500,000 in McGowan Government grants
A purpose-built storage and processing facility opened today at Augusta Boat Harbour will allow the world's first commercial greenlip abalone sea ranching business to meet growing international demand for the ocean-grown delicacy.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan today officially opened Ocean Grown Abalone's (OGA) new building, which was supported with a $485,000 contribution from the McGowan Government.
Built to export standards, the facility unlocks growth opportunities for the business by allowing it to process greater amounts of its locally-harvested product.
The old processing facility experienced bottlenecks, restricting the volumes divers could bring back.
Streamlining processes and the utilisation of new technology will result in additional value-added lines for retail and food services in both Australia and export markets being introduced.
In particular, the ability to deliver abalone straight from the ocean to live tanks onsite will unlock opportunities for OGA to increase live abalone for the export market.
The facility includes closed-circuit seawater holding tanks, a holding freezer and chiller room.
The construction of the building was led by South West firm Big Ben Builders, which provided local employment and subcontract opportunities.
The McGowan Government provided funding towards the new facility through its Regional Economic Development Grants, Grants for Asian Market Export, and Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Ocean Grown Abalone is a great Western Australian success story, taking locally-produced product to the rest of Australia and the world.
"Our Government's investment will enable OGA to boost exports to the Asian marketplace, bringing this West Australian delicacy to the world and creating local job opportunities at the processing facility - including skilled labour to service equipment and maintain the building.
"We also welcome OGA's support for the McGowan Government's commitment to employing local people and engaging local businesses during the construction phase."
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"The McGowan Government has identified aquaculture as a key industry to support job creation, particularly in regional WA.
"Ocean Grown Abalone is a fantastic example of how the aquaculture industry can make a significant contribution to our local economy.
"The support provided to OGA is part of the considerable support the McGowan Government has provided to the aquaculture industry in WA."
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6100