Historic project proposed in Tazewell County

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TAZEWELL COUNTY, VA (WVNS) — A project years in the making is about to become a reality in Tazewell County.

In 2013, Tazewell County Administrators and members of the Virginia House of Delegates travelled to Israel in the hopes of attracting business back to the states.

“I travelled around the country to see if we could capitalize on any opportunities in southwest Virginia,” said Delegate Will Morefield (R).

Morefield orchestrated a deal between an Israeli company and Pure Salmon to build a Salmon farm in Tazewell County. The companies purchased 200 acres of land next to the Southwest Virginia Community College. While many doubted the project in the beginning, Morefield said he is ready to finally see his vision come to life.

“We couldn’t be more excited about it. It will be the world’s largest vertically integrated indoor aquaculture facility that will grow and process salmon,” said Morefield.

Moorefield said it is the largest private capital investment in the history of Tazewell and Russell Counties, and one of the biggest in Virginia.

With the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morefield said this deal could not come at a better time.

“This project will obviously be transformational for the coalfields, not only for Tazewell and Russell Counties, but for the entire region as well,” said Morefield.

Morefield said “Project Jonah,” named after the biblical story, will create more than 300 jobs during construction and hundreds of additional jobs once it is finished.

While it is still not a done deal, Morefield said it is only a matter of time.

“This has been a long time coming in the belly of the whale, but now the project is we hope officially out of the whale,” said Morefield.

Morefield said the deal should be finalized soon. Construction will begin shortly after.

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