Australia's leading animal nutrition producer Ridley has officially unveiled its new $50 million aquaculture feed facility at Westbury, bringing 20 new full-time jobs to the region.
It follows an extensive search by the company for an ideal site for the plant.
Ridley acting chief executive David Lord was present at the Ridley Westbury Extrusion Plant on Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with assistance from Premier Will Hodgman, Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett and Aquafeed general manager Adrian Lochland.
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The new facility, located at the Valley Central Industrial Precinct, will chiefly produce extruded feed pellets for the aquaculture industry here in Tasmania, as well as for parts of the mainland and New Zealand - 50,000 tonnes of the pellets will be produced each year once the plant is fully operational.
The project was supported by a $2 million grant from the state government.
"We're employing locals to run the plant for us and we're starting to feel like we're locals ourselves," Mr Lord said.
"Ridley's investment in this plant is really an emphatic acknowledgement that we are committed to aquaculture, we're committed to this marketplace, we're committed to our salmon customers in this region.
"It's the reason we're here."
Ridley's investment in this plant is really an emphatic acknowledgement that we are committed to aquaculture, we're committed to this marketplace, we're committed to our salmon customers in this region.David Lord, Ridley acting chief executive
Mr Hodgman congratulated Ridley for its investment.
"We're really pleased to be a partner in what is an exciting development but also one which really captures Tasmania's economic conditions and character for 2019 and beyond," he said.
"The aquaculture sector is a significant contributor to the Tasmanian economy and to support growth and protect our position, the industry must remain competitive in all aspects of the supply chain.
"Ridley's new facility is also strategically important for our salmon industry, increasing the supply of locally sourced, high quality feed product to meet projected industry growth."
In the construction phase, Ridley employed 550 contractors and sub-contractors to work on building the plant, while 40 companies were also engaged by Ridley, with more than 90 per cent of those being local Tasmanian businesses.
The facility is projected to inject roughly $21 million a year into the state's economy.