BUCKSPORT — Whole Oceans has announced that it is moving forward with site preparation work for its state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility to raise Atlantic salmon at the site of the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport.
The company announced March 31 that it is finalizing an agreement with a Maine construction company to begin site clean-up, grading and other work on the portion of the property, known as Lot 2, that has been previously approved by state and local officials. This work is to prepare the site for the next phases of project development.
Whole Oceans announced late in 2020 the acquisition of Lot 3, the site of the former Verso paper mill building, providing deep-water access and additional acreage for the project. The acquisition provided an opportunity to consider how best to integrate Lot 3 into the design of the facility. As the design for Lot 3 nears completion, the proposed uses on this portion of the property will be reviewed by the town of Bucksport and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for inclusion in the existing approvals for the project.
Mike Thompson, senior project manager for Whole Oceans, is working with the construction firms on the start of work and said, “I am looking forward to being in Bucksport and managing the initial site work and to seeing this project move forward. The Bucksport community has been tremendously supportive of our efforts to date, and I share their enthusiasm for seeing site work get underway”
Whole Oceans has partnered with PR Aqua, North America’s leading technology, service and equipment supplier of RAS project design and site consultation.
“This is a pivotal moment for Whole Oceans and it’s exciting to see our thoughtful planning moving forward with PR Aqua as our partner,” said Shayne De Lima, senior advisor for Whole Oceans. “PR Aqua is recognized around the world for their innovation, service and expertise in recirculating aquaculture systems. We are proud to be working with them to advance this project.”
KC Hosler, chief technology officer of PR Aqua, added, “We took the time afforded to us to design a project based on state-of-the-art technology in order to ensure operational efficiency and commercial sustainability for this project in the emerging RAS industry in the United States.”
PR Aqua has been delivering successful RAS projects for 25 years and is currently engaged in multiple commercial scale projects, including another major project for Atlantic salmon production in the U.S.
For more information, visit www.wholeoceans.com.