H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Founder and Chairman of Tech Group, BESIX and Ocean Harvest, a newly formed tech-enabled agribusiness, announced this week that they have entered into a strategic partnership to design, construct and operate a high-tech, land-based salmon farm in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The project will supply 2000 metric tons per year of premium quality, locally grown, Atlantic salmon to the UAE with a minimized impact on the environment compared to other traditional methods. The strategic partnership will focus on bolstering Ocean Harvest’s engineering and construction management capabilities as well as supporting the Company with project-finance structuring and government relations.
Ocean Harvest designs, builds and operates Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facilities which localize the production of Atlantic Salmon and other salmonid species of fish. Leveraging advanced wastewater treatment technology, Ocean Harvest’s proprietary RAS technology enables the re-use of over 99.5% of process water. This almost eliminates wastewater discharge and helps protect fragile ecological systems. In addition, Ocean Harvest’s first-of-its-kind RAS design for salmon de-couples farming from marine systems while virtually eliminating the environmental stress caused by traditional open-net pen farms. Localization of production minimizes carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the amount of “food miles” needed to deliver product to end consumers. Ocean Harvest’s RAS solution also has the benefit of being completely indoor and protected from outside conditions, meaning fish stocks are shielded from sea lice and diseases – a challenge faced by traditional open-net pen farms. Such controlled environment conditions significantly improve fish welfare and boost the quality of the final product.
H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department stated: “Tech Group is dedicated towards the continuous pursuit of innovative opportunities that support the sustainable development of the UAE. Food security is among the most important priorities in the UAE national agenda, and we believe that our partnership with Ocean Harvest will generate true and tangible impact for our society.”
H.H. Sheikh Rashid continued by saying: “It’s delightful to see such local initiatives dedicated towards solving the challenges of sustainable farming in one of the harshest climates in the world. Through this strategic partnership, we will advance the UAE’s role as a global leader in ag-tech innovation, and I am excited to support Ocean Harvest in pursuit of its pioneering goals. My wish is that, together, we can inspire other innovative ventures to drive our common mission here in the UAE.”
Peter Lembrechts, Head of Concessions and Assets at BESIX, said: “BESIX is extremely proud to partner with Tech Group in Ocean Harvest’s inaugural project in Abu Dhabi, which will be a world reference for high-tech recirculating aquaculture systems. Together with Ocean Harvest, BESIX and Tech Group share a common vision of the environmental responsibility of companies: they are at the heart of the solution for a virtuous, greener economy, particularly in agribusiness. As strategic partner, we will providekey technical expertise in the fields of civil engineering and water treatment processes, as well as project structuring and financial advisory support. We look forward to contributing to the success of this innovative project, in full cooperation with Ocean Harvest and Tech Group.”
Bjorn Myrseth, Advisor and Founding member of the European Aquaculture Society, said: “Strong technical and operational expertise is crucial toward securing Ocean Harvest‘s place as a pioneer of sustainable land–based aquaculture in the Middle East. BESIX and Tech Group’s engineering experience with large infrastructure projects and wastewater treatment will, together with Billund Aquaculture, provide Ocean Harvest a winning formula. I look forward to working with BESIX, Tech Group,Billund Aquaculture A/S, and SUEZ to support Ocean Harvest in its mission to offer affordable local, year-round sustainably-grown salmon in the UAE.”
“Conversations with Besix and Tech Group began in early-2021. We share a conviction that disruptive technologies can enable the UAE to address many of its most pressing issues, including food security and environmental sustainability within the agricultural sector. Ocean Harvest is developing a true and tangible food security solution to enable economically viable, year-round, local production of sustainably grown salmon. H.H. Sheikh Rashid and BESIX share our penchant for sustainable development and economic growth in the UAE,” said Haytham Shanshal, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ocean Harvest.
“This partnership comes at an exciting time and will help Ocean Harvest deliver industrial-scale, local production of salmon in the UAE. As a company, we are grateful for this opportunity and will endeavor to implement our development strategy with a commitment that brings benefits to the society in which we operate. The UAE’s commitment to agri-tech innovation is clear and we are eager to be an early adopter within the emerging startup ecosystem,” added Mr. Shanshal. “Together, we can make a longstanding, large-scale positive impact in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.”
“Ocean Harvest is pursuing a very similar mission to Pure Harvest Smart Farms” said Robert Kupstas, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Ocean Harvest, and Co-founder of Pure Harvest Smart Farms. “Pure Harvest is the MENASA region’s leading controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) startup focused on sustainable, year-round fruit & vegetable production in harsh climates. The company has raised over USD $280 million of capital and is deploying its solution in many countries. Both ventures seek to deliver innovative technological solutions to ensure security of food supply and environmental sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains and exposed the need for fast-tracking such localization of food production, especially for highly perishable products such as fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables. This partnership will provide us some key engineering, project-structuring and project management supports that will help launch and scale our commercial pilot project in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I look forward to working with Besix and Tech Group to bolster food security, water conservation and economic diversification by forging a more sustainable food future for the UAE and the broader Middle East,” added Mr. Kupstas.
About Ocean Harvest
Ocean Harvest is a technology-enabled agribusiness based in the UAE, focused on year-round, local production of salmon. Ocean Harvest leverages innovative Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology and advanced wastewater treatment systems to enable year-round production of delicious and affordable salmon. Ocean Harvest is addressing systemic challenges by delivering tangible food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and environmental sustainability solutions. For more information, please visit www.oceanharvest.ae
BESIX is a leading Belgian group, based in Brussels and active in 25 countries and 5 continents in the construction, real estate development and concessions sectors. Its iconic achievements include the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower in Dubai. The group’s engineering department enables BESIX to carry out complex and unique projects, particularly in technical and environmental terms. For more information, please visit www.besix.com
About Tech Group
Tech Group is a UAE based diversified group of companies active in various industries such as turnkey-construction and engineering, metal and glass works, wood joinery and interiors, ready-mix concrete, concrete blocks and pavement products, piling and foundations, real estate, petroleum logistics and trading, and sales & marketing services. Established in 2003, Tech Group has since grown exponentially through major investments in state-of-the-art technologies and producing and delivering value for its clients.
With a focus on contributing to a sustainable future for the UAE, Tech Group has further transformed over the last five years as an investor and co-developer of projects that provide sustainable solutions for the environment and food security. The group is actively engaged in developing waste management, water treatment, aquaculture and farming projects. For more information, please visit www.techgroup.ae
© Press Release 2022