A Beachport-based seaweed company in South Australia is set to use a $38,045 State Government grant to upgrade its processing equipment in an effort to expand its business.Australian Kelp Products (AKP), which was founded in 1995 by Bevan and Susan Mills, harvests seaweeds from the beaches of South Australia’s Limestone Coast.
Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon revealed the grant would go towards the purchase of two new drying racks and fund an engineering upgrade at the company’s processing facility near Millicent.
“AKP has the only commercial seaweed licence in South Australia and currently produces liquid kelp fertilisers and dry seaweed products for livestock supplements,” Mr Kenyon said.
According to a statement from the South Australian Government, along with the $38,045 government grant, the company is also investing around $47,000 to hire additional equipment required to process large amounts of seaweed.
“By increasing its seaweed processing capacity, AKP believes it can expand its export potential and create a new high-value industry here in South Australia,” Mr Kenyon said.
AKP owner Bevan Mills believes the lower Limestone Coast region was unique due to its mix of cold nutrient rich Atlantic waters with the warm gulf streams of Gulf St Vincent which resulted in more than 1,140 distinctive species of seaweed.
“Seaweed has a complex chemical structure and can be manufactured into new products for a variety of markets,” Mr Mills said.
He revealed that AKP currently supplies kelp products to sustainable agricultural companies nationally, and through these partners, also exports to Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa.
“I’m confident that with the purchase of improved processing equipment, we’ll be able to increase our production levels and potentially expand into a range of new products,” Mr Mills said.
The project was supported by Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast.