RUB 1.5 billion project to include processing plant and RAS trout farm

ROK-1 Group, a major value-added processor based in St-Petersburg, will be at least doubling its output by building a new processing plant and a RAS trout farm in the surrounding region, reports

The project, worth more than $20 million, proceeds from the concept that the demand for processed seafood will be further fueled by the healthy lifestyles trend.

According to the CEO and co-owner of ROK-1 Alexander Starobinsky quoted by Kommersant, the project will be located in the Gatchina district of Leningrad Region surrounding Saint Petersburg on a leased landsite of 23 hectares. This will let more than double the output and consolidate production capacities in one place.

Trout RAS farm

As part of the project, ROK-1 is also going to build a trout farm fitted with RAS technology with a capacity of up to 10 thousand tons. The harvest will go for processing, plus the raw material for the new plant will be sourced from other suppliers as well. Investments into the construction of the combine are estimated at 1.5 billion rubles (20.6 million USD), its commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2023.

In the future, ROK-1 is going to build the second stage of its plant in the Leningrad region.

ROK-1 operates two production sites with the total annual capacity of 60 thousand tons of products in the marine harbour of St. Petersburg and in Volkhov (Leningrad Region), and also develops trout farming. The company produces cold and hot smoked fish (salmon, trout, halibut), preserves, surimi products, seafood, seaweed salads under the brands Svoya rybka (Own fish), A'more, Morskaya planeta (Sea planet).

According to the company’s estimates, it has got a 3.8% share in Russia's total output of the same products. The revenue of ROK-1 in 2020 amounted to 6 billion rubles, net profit — 92.8 million rubles. The company is controlled by Alexander Starobinsky, who owns 80.2%, according to SPARK-Interfax.

The move to the Leningrad Region is connected with the fact that ROK-1 felt crowded on the territory of the Saint Petersburg harbout, Mr. Starobinsky explained. After the launch of the new plant, the St. Petersburg site will be used for cold storage, he noted. At the same time, plans for the use of the plant in Volkhov have not yet been fully determined, he said. Earlier, the transfer of capacities from St. Petersburg to the region was also announced by the company’s competitor - Baltic Coast Company.

Fish consumption in Russia in 2020 increased by 1.4% by 2019 and amounted to 22.2 kg per capita, according to the official statistics of Rosstat. Despite the decline in household incomes, the demand for fish will support the current trend for lifestyles. The value of the Russian fish market reaches 560 billion rubles, salmon - 50 billion rubles, according to the estimates of the Russian Aquaculture company.

There is a shortage of modern capacities for value added fish processing, Mr. Bereznyuk points out. But at the same time, the RAS technology differs from the conventional fish farming in cages in their natural habitat, he explains. In such projects, a high level of preparation is important, since not very good water can negatively affect the taste of fish.

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