Chief executive of Gather Great Ocean Group, Yang Wu, said the project was a long-term prospect for the Limestone Coast in manufacturing, innovation and high-end research and development.
Long-term plans for algin
“We will be harvesting seaweed at Beachport and processing at the Snuggery site, keeping the operation entirely local to become involved with the local community and promote local economic development,” he said.
“In the short-term, we will be harvesting and processing seaweed into fertiliser for commercial application. In the long-term, however, we are planning on expanding our operations to produce sodium alginate, or algin, an extract of seaweed used as a thickener, gelling agent and emulsifier in the food and pharmaceutical industries.”
The company has partnered with Flinders University to research the conversion of seaweed into high-value products, which it hopes will lead to the introduction of more South Australian products to new markets.
Export opportunities and jobs
Regional development minister Geoff Brock said the grant would help bring the Chinese-headquartered company's investment in the Limestone Coast to around A$21m (US$16m).
“This will bring significant export growth opportunities into regional South Australia, and is a great example of how our state can benefit from international investment,” Brock said.
Gather Great Ocean Group is a high-technology seaweed processing business headquartered in China, exporting to over 30 countries worldwide and servicing the printing, food and pharmaceutical industries.
It is expected to create 20 full-time jobs as well as around 14 construction jobs for the duration of the build.