Grants helps abalone farm cut power cuts 

A PORT Fairy business has benefited from state government funding aimed at creating greater efficiency.

During a visit to Port Fairy yesterday, Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith announced Southern Ocean Mariculture abalone farm had won $25,000 under the state government’s smarter resources, smarter business grants.

The funding will go towards the installation of a new pump with the business contributing $105,000.

Mark Gervis from Southern Ocean Mariculture said the new pump would be used to circulate three times the current amount of water in and out of the plant.

He said the added efficiency would result in a saving of $75,000 annually in power costs.

“The new pump will allow us to increase production and reduce our costs,” Mr Gervis said.

“We are hoping to have the new pump installed and up and running by August or September this year.”

Mr Smith was taken on a tour of the plant and said he was pleased to have the opportunity to see the operation first-hand. He said it was interesting to get out on the ground and look at what local businesses were doing.

“It is good to see the grant rounds we have handed out are helpful to businesses such as this and are helpful to the local economy and in increasing jobs,” Mr Smith said.

“It is very positive to see the environmental and economic outcomes that will happen as a result of our investment here.

“Giving businesses the funding to improve materials and energy efficiency boosts their economic performance and helps Victorian companies compete in a truly sustainable way,” he said.

The smarter resources, smarter business grants have handed out a total of $1.7 million to 61 businesses across the state.

They ranged from $3000 to $50,000 and covered industries such as manufacturing, retail, agriculture and tourism.

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