THE Federal Government is providing $3.8m to world leading aquaculture solutions provider, CH4 Global, for a project in regional SA, which is producing seaweed for methane reduction in livestock production.
Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the program was supporting businesses to move to, or expand into regional areas to research and develop innovative and locally sourced raw material supplies.
"The world is hungry for the native Australian seaweed Asparagopsis, as a stock feed supplement which not only slashes methane emissions, but also has the potential to improve digestion and subsequent growth," he said.
"With our huge coastline and the advantage of farming a local plant, we have the potential to become a prominent world supplier.
"As a government we are focused on the generation of new jobs and industries for our regions through programs like this and the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
"The Securing Raw Materials Program is designed to establish, secure and strengthen the supply of raw materials to Australian industry, and to support partnerships between industry and regional universities.
"The Government will provide $3.8m for CH4 Global, in collaboration with the University of SA, to develop stock feed from native seaweed found in Cowell."
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CH4 Global is pioneering the development and commercialisation of a unique red seaweed (Asparagopsis), which when added to their feed, drastically reduces ruminant methane emissions by up to 90 per cent.
Emissions from cattle and other ruminant animals are the largest single source of anthropogenic methane emissions in the world.
"The main production points are likely to be in the Arno Bay and Port Lincoln areas, and the regulatory approvals process is already being prepared for PIRSA," Mr Ramsey said.
"On a global level, the cultivation of seaweed as animal feed is an increasingly competitive space and this investment will ensure our regions continue to innovate to maintain Australia's place as a first mover in this space."
We know that asparagopsis seaweed...can have a massive impact on reducing methane emissions in cattle, dairy cows, and sheep.- SEBASTIAN LAMBERT
CH4 Global program manager Sebastian Lambert said the grant was the latest sign of support for CH4 Global and the wider seaweed industry in Australia.
"The fact that both State and Federal governments have supported the emergence of this industry is also a mark of the potential it holds not only for addressing methane emissions but also for creating economic development in our regions," he said.
"We know that asparagopsis seaweed, if cultivated and processed correctly, can have a massive impact on reducing methane emissions in cattle, dairy cows, and sheep. And we know we can produce that seaweed at scale here in Australia."
The grant will be used primarily to develop two new hatcheries in the Eyre Peninsula.
The hatcheries will enable CH4 Global to develop a working seed stock which can be used on marine infrastructure or land based aquaculture facilities for harvesting and processing.
"This is a key step in creating a product that can be produced at commercial scale and we're excited to be developing these facilities here in SA."
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