The South Australian government has awarded a $360,000 grant to the Gather Great Ocean Group to help establish a seaweed harvesting site at Beachport and a processing plant near Millicent.
CEO of Gather Great Ocean Group Australia, Yang Wu, said the project was a long-term prospect for the Limestone Coast in manufacturing, innovation and high-end research and development.
“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 (Algin) – an extract of seaweed used as a thickener, gelling agent and emulsifier in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
“We have partnered with Flinders University to research the conversion of seaweed into high-value products, which will introduce innovative South Australian products to new markets internationally and increase the skills base of the region.”
Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said the grant would help bring the Chinese-headquartered company's investment in the Limestone Coast to around $21 million.
“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.
“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.
It is expected to create 20 full time jobs as well as around 14 construction jobs for the duration of the build.
For more on the Gather Great Ocean Group's investment in to seaweed harvesting, read The Lead South Australia's story, China looks to South Australian Seaweed.