Seaweed could be the food of the future

KELP: Food from sea.
KELP: Food from sea.
FUTURE: Wilmington-based Stuart MP and Cabinet Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan says South Australia could become a 'centre of excellence' for seaweed production.

FUTURE: Wilmington-based Stuart MP and Cabinet Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan says South Australia could become a 'centre of excellence' for seaweed production.

Seaweed harvesting and processing could be worth millions of dollars a year to South Australia if research shows the commercial production can be viable.

The production of red seaweed for use in livestock fodder, fertiliser, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and human consumption could inject $140 million a year within three years with processing able to add another $250 million to the state's economy.

On top of the injection of funds it is estimated the industry could support 1200 jobs.

According to Primary Industries and Regions SA, using red seaweed in the diet of cattle has been found to reduce a methane emissions.

Wilmington-based Stuart MP and Acting Primary Industries Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said seaweed production could become a great option for stock feed, especially in drought.

"Investing in research to determine the viability of this project will mean SA is positioned to become a centre of excellence for seaweed production in Australia if the benefits of adding seaweed to livestock fodder can be realised," he said.

"If there are opportunities to cost-effectively reduce ruminant methane production by converting it into energy to drive enhanced animal productivity, this represents a win-win."

As the first commercial operator in seaweed production in the state, CH4 is working with SA Research and Development Institute to develop trials.

Meanwhile, Mid North residents are expected to save $66 yearly on power bills as a result of a $1.5 billion SA-New South Wales interconnector planned near Robertstown.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan, who is also Energy and Mining Minister, said last year that the Budget had reinforced the state government's pledge to provide reliable, affordable energy for households and businesses as part of its agenda for investment, jobs creation and economic growth.

"The $100 million Home Battery Scheme, $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund, $30 million investment in demand management and integrated distributed generation, as well as the conversion of the standby generators into commercially-operated generators, will deliver more affordable, reliable and cleaner electricity to South Australians," he said.

"The government's early-works package for the interconnector will help deliver the projected savings on household electricity bills."

"It is encouraging that electricity prices have turned the corner in SA after a series of unacceptable price rises under the previous government.

"Our government's energy plans will deliver a smoother transition to renewable energy while delivering the affordable and reliable energy households and businesses need.

"The fact that renewable energy is projected to account for 65 per cent of generation capacity in SA by the end of the next financial year, while the price of electricity is moderating, is cause for optimism."