New Nordic Aquafarms Inc. takes shape in Maine

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Nordic Aquafarms has completed nearly all of its due diligence on the 40-acre site in Belfast, Maine, where it plans to build a state-of-the-art land-based salmon farm.

In January, the company said the plant would be built in phases. Phase 1, with a capacity of some 13,000 tons, is currently being designed in Norway. Subsequent phases are expected to bring the site up to 30,000 t.

Read Nordic Aquafarms offers brand preview

Construction is expected to start in 2019, the company said, with “first-fish” in 2020. Company chief exec, Erik Heim, has now told local residents that pre-engineering and the process of obtaining permits will now begin.

Water tests
“We have confirmed that necessary conditions are in place on the site for our planned aquaculture production, including the availability of clean, abundant and sustainable groundwater from test wells,” said Heim. “We now have over 90-percent confidence related to site conditions and requirements.”

At a public meeting Wednesday, residents saw aerial and ground images of the site, and Belfast learned it will host a Nordic Aquaculture “field office” this summer.

Norwegian director
Dual-citizen, Heim, is moving to Maine in October to head up U.S. operations, a statement said, adding that a small corporate office in Portland would come into being this summer for new US business, Nordic Aquaculture Inc.  Marianne Naess, an experienced executive who has held senior positions at McKesson and Aker Solutions, will be moving from Norway to become Director of Operations.

“We are very pleased with the progress that we have made since announcing the project in January. Our due diligence at the site and strong support from the City of Belfast confirm that this is a great location for this exciting project,” said Heim.

“The scope and pace of our work will increase significantly in the weeks ahead.”