By: Jacob Kessler
The construction project for the new AquaBounty aquaculture facility in Pioneer has been halted. The halt has taken place due to substantial increases in the facilities construction costs.
According to AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf, around ten days ago, from the time of this writing, everything cost wise was trending lower.
The construction firm had nailed down around 70%-75% of all the costs and bidding, but the larger more costly items still remained.
These items, such as piping and concrete, came in at a much higher price then previously expected. The reason, according to Wulf, was due to inflation.
The company will now be taking time to evaluate whether or not it makes sense to do the work in a phased approach.
They will also evaluate the timing, cost, size, and scope of alternatives. While the project may be halted, the work is still expected to continue later.
“We absolutely intend to continue construction of the farm. We are looking at the most prudent path forward.”
“We have no intention of letting all the money go to waste. We will find another path forward. We are working with the construction firm to secure the site while we are working with them on value engineering, cost reduction and a phased approach. We are already well along into phase 1,” said CEO Sylvia Wulf.
Wulf also went on to explain that their bank, Wells Fargo encouraged the company to pause the project as they look into alternative approaches.
She also reiterated that while they had encouraged a pause, the bank had not backed out of the project.
Currently, the timeline to understand what path they will go down should be around 30-45 days. After that, another 45 days will go by as they put that plan into place.
The hope is to have construction efforts back up and running by August, but this is subject to change.
Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org