Supporting Australia’s economic growth through agribusiness


21 September 2015 - The Australian, Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments have announced their support to what could be one of the world’s largest fully integrated prawn aquaculture projects.

Aptly named “Project Sea Dragon”, the  USD1.45 billion project centered in Legune Station, on the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia will be developed by Seafarms Group Ltd. Aurecon, supported by Golder Associates, has been engaged to commence with the concept design and assist in proving the feasibility of this ground breaking project.

Seafarms Group Ltd is a listed Australian agri-food company which operates, builds and invests in sustainable aquaculture production platforms, producing high-quality seafood. Seafarms is currently Australia’s largest producer of farmed prawns – growing, processing and distributing the well-known Crystal Bay Prawns® premium brand. The company is one of Australia’s largest prawn aquaculture enterprises.

Project Sea Dragon will focus on sustainable land use and integrated design practices to maintain surrounding river and coastal environments and support adjacent agricultural land uses. Designed to commence production on a nominal 1 000 ha of land based ponds, it will produce approximately 10 000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of prawns in this first production phase. Ultimately it is intended to expand the operations to 10 000ha, producing over 100 000 tpa of frozen prawns for export.

Aurecon Project Director, Brett Nilsen, says of the win: “The project is located in a remote and demanding environment – but one that is ideal for large scale aquaculture. Aurecon has a long history of working under the challenging conditions of projects like this and is able to mobilise a team who can bring both cost effective and practical solutions as well as world leading innovation.” 

Project Sea Dragon will be delivered as an integrated production system that includes all phases of prawn production from breeding, hatching grow-out, processing and export.

This, high quality, large scale production of Black Tiger Prawns (Penaesus monodon) will be geared to meet a growing global demand, with principal markets in Asia.

Aurecon Manager ANZ Offices, Matt Coetzee, said of the win: “With the age of Australia’s once booming resources sector supporting the country’s regional and national economies now over, agribusiness is the most likely industry to underpin Australia’s future prosperity. 

We believe we have a particularly unique set of skills, as well as staff based in locations close to these projects, that will allow us to support this industry as it grows.“

The project will be led by a team drawn from Aurecon’s Darwin and Perth offices, together with support from the Aurecon Major Projects Team. This is an excellent example of the benefits we can bring to our clients when we draw the best of the best from across our business.  

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