24,000 tonne-a-year land-based salmon farmer picks RAS supplier

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Baring Farsund has engaged Billund Aquaculture Norway as a RAS supplier for the first stage of construction of its planned land-based fish farm – in Farsund municipality, South Norway.

The application for a licence, which is under consideration, includes the production of as many as 24,000 tonnes of salmon. The start-up meeting for the first phase, the design of an environmentally friendly and efficient production facility, was held on Thursday.

Starting with post-smolt
“We want to develop this project step by step. Therefore, we will start with post-smolt before we develop the project further. Such production assumes that we put seawater-facing smolt into the plant. This is then raised to a postmolt of about one kg for sale,” said Baring managing director Ole Kristoffer Torsvik.

“There is a stated desire from the Norwegian authorities that aquaculture and therefore seafood will have a significant growth in the years to come. Exposure to postmolt/small salmon provides good use of today’s sea licence, and we, therefore, want to be able to respond to the increased demand for this. We will be able to deliver such salmon westwards and hopefully more in the local area in the long term. At the same time, this first installation will be so dimensioned that we can try outgrowth up to market size for salmon of around five kilos. Such an expansion is the ultimate goal – after we have also put in place our own smolt production and growth departments,” Torsvik said in a press release.

Green field
The fish farming facility will be the first of its kind in Southern Norway with a modern, updated RAS technology (purification of the water with up to 99 per-cent reuse).

“After an overall assessment, it is the best option. At the end of the day, we have got a supplier with a worldwide good reputation. Based on how we will develop and implement the project, it is also an advantage that we already have knowledge of key people in Billund Aquaculture and their knowledge and capacity,” said production manager Bjarte Sævareid, who justified the cooperation with Billund Aquaculture.

Billund Aquaculture said it was, of course, very pleased to get the job.

“We are humbled by the trust that Baring shows us. All RAS delivery requests are not as interesting. But this company, greenfield in Southern Norway, has an enthusiasm that makes us believe in exciting cooperation that can benefit both parties,” said Billund Aquaculture Norway technical director Marius Hægh.

Roots
Way back in 1985, the regional newspaper Fædrelandsvennen had a message that there would finally be a rush of salmon farming in Southern Norway. Some succeeded, but not many. Baring wants to do something about that.

The management of the company includes Lars Reme, who co-founded the construction contractor BRG. And for 11 years he was the regional manager for the company’s operations. Bjarte Sævareid has extensive experience in salmon farming and has led freshwater production of Mowi in Southern Norway. Kjell Arne Møklebust built up his own consulting company Akvator, which became a leader in the aquaculture industry and has been a strong participant in some of the largest RAS facilities in Norway. While former fishing boat skipper Ole Kristoffer Torsvik, through the company Fjord Solutions, has contributed to the development and delivery of innovative solutions for the aquaculture industry.

Baring already said that it wants to give the industry a real boost in Southern Norway.

“We have a good dialogue with government agencies. Be it reregulation and licence and more. We have great faith that all pieces will fall into place soon. And the expected start of construction in Farsund could take place as early as the last half of 2021,” said Baring CEO Ole Kristoffer Torsvik, adding that the upcoming seafood production facility could provide at least 60-70 jobs or more.