£80 Mn Marine Harvest feed plant grows in Scotland

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A Scottish feed facility is nearly built that’ll offer new types of feed partly aimed at a local smolt bottleneck.

A new, £80 million Marine Harvest fish feed plant is on schedule for completion in 2018 at Altanavaig Quarry on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, it has been learned.

Marine Harvest Fish Feed, or MHFF, is one of the newest divisions in Marine Harvest and has only produced aquafeed in Scotland since June 2014. This second Scottish feed plant strengthens Marine Harvest Group’s standing as an “integrated”, bottom-up salmon producer, with its 12,700 employees in 24 countries.

When producing from late-summer 2018, Altanavaig will employee 55 full-time people serving the company’s fish farms with protein. The new plant will the capacity to produce 170,000 tonnes of feed a year, adding to about 300,000 t MHFF now produces.

Freshwater feed
In a previous note to shareholders, Marine Harvest said the main bottleneck for growth in Scotland was smolt capacity, and new freshwater feeds are partly aimed at addressing that shortfall.

“A broad portfolio of conventional organic feeds for both fresh and sweater phases of salmon growth in Scotland, Ireland, Faeroes and Norway,” the company says are to be produced at this second site.

Concept to reality: the first piles of the pier are in

The latest report is that the factory’s main process structure and a silo are at full height. Seaside, the first piles have been driven for pier construction.

MHFF is based in Bergen, Norway, where Marine Harvest Holding owns all the company’s shares. It’s lead by Michael John Watts, the man in charge of expanding the Group’s costs via expanded fish-feed production.

“We expect operational efficiencies to be similar to those experienced at Bjugn and see good potential to streamline the raw material and feed delivery logistics in Scotland,” a statement said.

Bottom-up operation
The company has described its feed operation as “silo-to-silo”, and the extra supplies bolster the potential commerciality of its fleet of feed vessels. Between June 2014 and June 2016, MHFF delivered 500,000 tonnes of feed company stores and farms.

The new feeds are further described as “novel”, “ahead-of-time” and containing far less fish meal. However, a “fat leak from pellets” slowed production in early 2016, suggesting the company will have to stay closely tuned in to feed formulations.