66,000 tonnes land-based salmon farm project announced

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Sande Aqua has signed the design agreement with Billund Aquaculture.

In a press release, Norwegian company Sande Aqua writes that it is planning on building a land-based salmon farm now it has been granted a licence to farm 33,000 tonnes of fish, expandable to 66,000 tonnes.

The first stage includes the production of 33,000 tonnes of salmon, of which 27,000 tonnes of fish are full size. The remaining 6,000 tonnes are fed up to postsmolt, that is, with a weight around one kilogram. Half of this last one will be for their own use, while the rest can be considered for sale.

Peder Bruce has been appointed CEO of Sande Aqua. PHOTO: Sande Aqua

The project is set to cost between EUR 460 million to 550 million and will be situated about 120 km drive north of Bergen, Western Norway.

“Putting in place necessary agreements with the public has demanded its own. But overall, we perceive this collaboration as a positive experience,” said Sande Aqua chairman Stein-Inge Larsen.

The former chief executive of Norse Securities Peder Bruce has been appointed CEO of Sande Aqua. Furthermore, Sande Aqua has signed the design agreement with Billund Aquaculture, which will deliver the RAS tech.

Sande Aqua Chairman Larsen said that the project has been five years in the making.

Stein Inge Larson. PHOTO: Sande Aqua

“We consider ourselves a bit of a pioneer,” he said. “However, it gives extra confidence to have Billund Aquaculture on the team – with a unique experience and expertise in grow out (salmon up to full size on land). The company is also known for very good follow-up and assistance during and after commissioning. The choice of RAS supplier was taken already several years ago. Price has never been the challenge. Trust is more important,” said Larsen.

Larsen explained that the site will have access to water and will be among Norway’s largest green ports when it comes to onshore electricity. “And we have enough space even though the new salmon plant requires as much area as 10 times Brann’s football stadium. We have our own deep water dock for any shipment. And it is not far to Flesland airport,” he added.

“We have the Institute of Marine Research and the country’s only master’s degree in aquaculture at the university to name a few. Ever closer ties are associated with spans from professors to students. The new facility will remain at an acceptable distance – creating conditions for good cooperation. We have a company – Havtare – that works to grow and refine sea weed. It’s a potential feed product. A successful result will give us full control over the entire salmon production, so it may be a relevant area for cooperation. We want to implement sustainable solutions even with the use of modern technologies such as robots and advanced surveillance and more. In recent years, the industry has gained inflows of valuable expertise in labour from oil-related activities. Now we hope that more people from the Tech communities will find us interesting too,” urged CEO Peder Bruce.

In his professional life, Bruce has experience in offshore operations, but also in finance. He is not worried about the economics of the project, although this is a case of a significant sum of money.

“Nothing comes by itself. Nevertheless – it is a fact that the greater a well-founded prospectus, the greater the interest from investors, including foreign ones, with a lot of capital. For these, fewer investments are relevant because they require approximately as much work as the big ones. And when we then talk about smaller amounts in such a context, it can actually be as much as EUR 100 million,” concluded Bruce.

Sande Aqua said it plans on plans two bouts of fundraising ahead of the start of construction, estimated to be initiated in the fourth quarter of 2021.