The Herald on Sunday
MP ‘impressed’ by Scottish fish farm’s sustainability measures
ONE of Scotland’s leading fish farm companies has impressed a Conservative MP with its series of environmental measures designed to make its operation greener and more sustainable.
Scottish Sea Farms and green energy partner AMP Clean Energy hosted a visit from Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan David Duguid as part of his day-long tour to Argyll and Bute to see the progress being made towards becoming a net-zero nation.
Together with senior figures from Scottish Renewables, Mr Duguid – a keen advocate of green energy – was given a one-hour tour of the salmon grower’s new £58 million Barcaldine Hatchery near Oban in Argyll and Bute.
Among the green technologies in operation is the hatchery’s 600kw biomass energy system, thought to deliver the biggest CO2 savings of any renewable heat source.
Owned, installed and maintained by AMP Clean Energy, the system uses locallysourced, sustainably managed wood chip to provide the 17,500sqm building with much of its heat and hot water, saving 683 tonnes of carbon a year compared with using oil.
Also on show was the facility’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). Specially designed to give farmed fish the best possible growing experience by affording salmon farmers much greater control over the key growth factors of water quality, oxygen levels, temperature, speed of flow and light, RAS technology has environmental benefits too.
This includes the ability to circulate, clean and recirculate up to 98 per cent of freshwater used per day, equating to a saving of over 20 times the freshwater consumption of conventional hatchery methods.
It will also capture waste material from the growing cycle and repurpose it as nutrient-rich agricultural fertiliser to aid crop development.
The scheme will also allow for the maintenance of a more consistent water temperature, reducing the energy needed to heat or cool water.
The temperature can be adjusted via heat pumps and heat exchangers – energyefficient alternatives to kerosene boilers or electric chillers.
These efficiencies are further complemented elsewhere in the building by motion-sensor internal lighting and wind and solar-powered external lighting, with provision for a hydro scheme so that the hatchery can generate more energy in a greener way.
Mr Duguid said: “I’ve been so impressed at the green approach of this state-of-the-art facility. Scottish Sea Farms’ water-saving and waste-recycling measures, coupled with the use of AMP Clean Energy’s environmentallysound biomass heating system, prove that it is possible to forge ahead in innovation to sustain the sector while still meeting our net-zero objectives.
“The UK Government has ambitious climate commitments and it’s by embracing measures such as these and accelerating decarbonisation that the industry will be future-proofed to protect and create jobs.”
Bruno Berardelli, head of asset services at AMP Clean Energy, added: “We’re proud to have worked in partnership with Scottish Sea Farms to fund, develop, own and operate a brand new low-carbon heat installation at their Barcaldine Hatchery.
“This sustainable solution is a perfect example of how biomass heat can support net-zero food production.
“It is a truly local project too, taking advantage of locallysourced wood chip and supported by the expert team at our Fort William office.”