BELFAST — Construction of a long-planned salmon farm in Maine could begin in as little as eight months now that the developer has purchased land where the farm will be built.

Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a $500 million salmon farm in land-based tanks in Belfast. The company purchased the land this week, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The project has faced local opposition and lawsuits from opponents who have questioned the size, scope and environmental impact of the project.

Nordic Aquafarms has defended the salmon farm as a new source of jobs and sustainable protein in the state.

Nordic Aquafarms closed on the deal for the land with Belfast Water District. The utility’s superintendent said the original purchase price was a little more than $1 million, but the district will receive more than that because of agreements made over the four years since the deal was reached.

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