The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Australis Holdings, Inc. (Australis) have inked a USD 15 million convertible note to support climate-resilient, ocean-based barramundi and seaweed aquaculture in Vietnam.
The investment is expected to facilitate the expansion of Australis’ operations at Van Phong Bay in the south-central coast province of Khanh Hoa, possibly creating a second regional production hub for the company in southern Vietnam. The Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF), which is run by ADB, will contribute an additional USD 3 million to the project.
According to the ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations, the project supports the Vietnamese government’s efforts in developing sustainable aquaculture, especially large-scale farming of high-value species for export. ADB’s financing is likely to support the Massachusetts-based firm to achieve the target of 50,000 tons of barramundi production per year. This is also the first aquaculture equity investment of the ADB in the Southeast Asian country.
Besides, the CIDF’s investment in Australis’ subsidiary Greener Grazing LLC will further promote the R&D activities, especially the cultivation of asparagopsis taxiformis seaweed for commercial ocean farming. This seaweed species can reduce enteric methane emissions when included in cattle feed, potentially mitigating ocean acidification and enhancing the climate resilience of marine ecosystems.
CIDF is a blended finance facility managed by ADB since its launch in 2021, attracting USD 500 million from the government and private sectors to stimulate sustainable low-carbon economic development. Meanwhile, Australis is vertically integrated with operations encompassing breeding, hatcheries, ocean farms, processing, packaging, and export. Australis’ consumer-facing brand The Better Fish® focuses on quality, sustainability, and ease of use.