BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Singapore-based Pure Salmon will build a farming facility for Atlantic salmon in Brunei following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Brunei government.

Pure Salmon’s owner, private equity firm 8F Asset Management, inked the MoU with Ministry of Finance and Economy’s Strategic Development Capital Fund at The Empire Brunei on Tuesday.

The land-based facility is expected to produce 10,000 tonnes whole fish equivalent of Atlantic salmon per year, which will be supplied to the domestic and regional markets.

A press statement from MoFE said Pure Salmon will run the farm and provide expertise in hatchery, production, processing, purchasing, quality assurance, distribution and brand management.

The ministry said 145 jobs are expected to be created once the facility starts its operations.

The farm will ensure over 99 percent of water is recirculated using proprietary, cutting-edge filtration and oxygenation systems, the statement read.

It will also safeguard against plastic, diseases and sea lice that would affect output.

According to a media report, Chief Executive Officer of 8F Asset Management Karim Ghannam said Brunei is ahead of other countries in the region when it comes to innovation and sustainable food production.

“Growing Atlantic salmon caters for growing demand for fish protein. Besides providing clean and healthy Atlantic salmon farmed locally, the facility is also expected to create jobs and contribute to the local economy, while serving as a model for other countries to follow,” he was quoted as telling the Borneo Bulletin.

Earlier in March this year, Primary Resources and Tourism Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Apong had said advanced aquaculture technology used by foreign companies could boost output and promote self-sufficiency.

Brunei’s aquaculture sector reported a 440 percent increase in output over the past six years, growing from 302 tonnes ($3 million) in 2011 to 1,632 tonnes ($17 million) in 2017.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah signed the MoU on behalf of the Brunei government while Ghannam represented 8F Asset Management.