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Developer of $400M salmon farm sued by a former employee

January 31, 2022 GMT

BUCKSPORT, Maine (AP) — The parent company overseeing the construction of a land-based salmon farm in Bucksport faces a lawsuit from a consulting firm hired to work on the project.

Whole Ocean’s parent company, Emergent Holdings, is being sued by GNP Consulting after it was fired for allegedly underestimating the cost to construct the farm by $150 million, The Bangor Daily News reported Sunday.

According to Emergent, in 2019 it struck a deal to pay GNP Consulting’s owners, Nicholas and Gabriel Pranger, $3 million for ownership of their aquaculture engineering firm PR Aqua. Emergent would also pay the firm $3.25 million in installments.

But court documents said that the consulting contract ended in June 2021 after the companies relationship soured.

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Following the terminated contract, the firm filed a lawsuit against Emergent in Indiana. The complaint said that Emergent owed the company $2.4 million under the installment agreement.

But Emergent’s counterclaim argued that the payments to the firm were halted because it underestimated the Whole Oceans project by $150 million. The project is now estimated to cost nearly $400 million because of “poor planning,” Emergent said.

The Prangers’ attorney did not respond to a request for comment, the newspaper said.

The attorney for Emergent declined to comment on the lawsuit.