GS Engineering and Construction (GS E&C) will start construction of the first land based salmon farming facility which will utilize closed circulation filtration in Korea, and begin the smart aquaculture business in earnest. So was told in a groundbreaking ceremony helded a few days ago at Pukyong National University’s Institute of Fisheries Sciences in Gijang-gun, Busan, with about 100 people attending.
In the ceremony were presents Song Sang-Keun, Vice Minister of Oceans and Fisheries of Korea; Huh Yoon Hong, President of GS E&C’s New Business; Lee Byeong-jin, Vice Mayor for Administrative Affairs, Busan Metropolitan City; and Lee Sang-do, CEO of Eco Aqua Farm.
During the event, Huh Yoon Hong stated, “Starting with the smart aquaculture test bed, we expect to contribute to the sustainable growth of the domestic fisheries industry by breeding Atlantic salmon, which has been entirely imported until now.”
GS E&C signed a business agreement with Busan Metropolitan City on July 2020 to enter the aquaculture business in stages, and also is participating as a private investor in the Busan Smart Aquaculture Cluster construction project, which is being promoted for the first time in Korea.
The goal is completion in 2023
The smart aquaculture test bed will be built on a 67,320 m2 site in the Fisheries Science Research Institute at Gijang-gun, Busan, with the goal of completion in 2023 and will be used to breed around 500 tons of Atlantic salmon annually.
Eco-friendly energy facilities such as solar panels and wind turbines are installed on the test bed, and water treatment facilities are automatically controlled through various sensors. In addition to the automatic feed distribution device, a base for efficient utilization of renewable energy will also be established.
Eco Aqua Farm, dedicated to business promotion of the farmed salmon
Prior to the start of the test bed construction, GS E&C established Eco Aqua Farm, a subsidiary for business promotion of the farmed salmon and has been testing salmon breeding at the Fisheries Resources Research Center in Busan. In addition, it has applied for a patent related to microplastic removal technology and has completed research on disease prevention and response technology.
The smart aquaculture test bed to be built is the first advanced facility with closed circulation filtration that reuses more than 99% of the water, a first for fish farming Korea. It is a method of constructing aquaculture facilities on land, bringing in and purifying the sea water through advanced water treatment technology, breeding salmon, and reprocessing the contaminated aquaculture water.
“This method makes it possible to produce clean seafood that is safe from marine pollutants such as microplastics, heavy metals, and viruses, which are an improvement over the existing cage-type aquaculture.”
In particular, to breed salmon that live in cold and clean water year-round in Korea, which has a temperate climate, water treatment technology and building technology for air conditioning maintenance and efficiency are the most important core competencies.
A fusion of ICT technology to manage water quality
GS E&C has the water treatment technology of GS Inima, a 100% subsidiary and a world-class seawater desalination company, in addition to ICT technology related to core technology for bio-wastewater treatment.
The smart aquaculture test bed is a fusion of ICT technology to manage clean water quality and healthy fish growth with the water purification and circulation system based on GS E&C’s experience in constructing advanced water treatment plants for water purification, recycling, and seawater desalination.
Meanwhile, GS E&C signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding for Popularization of Eco-Friendly Salmon’ with Shinsegae Food earlier this year, and is cooperating to develop products derived from the salmon that will be bred in smart aquaculture facilities. It has also started developing feed for farmed salmon, another first, with CJ Feed & Care.