INC Group postpones 10,000 tonnes a year land-based salmon farm because RAS technology still too “immature”

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“It is probably a few years ahead of time before we can realise the big project unless something special happens”.

INC Group CFO Roald Førde said that immature RAS technology is the main reason why the pilot plant is postponed. Though he is hoping they will have fish in the tanks next spring.

In September last year, the INC Group announced that Innovation Norway supported the company’s plans for a pilot plant for salmon production in Florø with EUR 1.5 million.

Through the start up Havlandet RAS Pilot, the plan was to start the construction of a pilot plant for land-based production of harvested salmon in West Norway, last year. The goal was for the first fish to be released in tanks this autumn.

“If we are successful with the pilot plant, we will be able to build a full-scale land-based salmon farm with annual production of 10,000 tonnes of salmon. This will create jobs for many years to come,” the INC Group wrote in its September press release.

In connection with the full-scale plant, the company also planned to build a hydrogen production plant.

Now all plans are postponed, reports Teknisk Ukeblad.

Roald Forde. PHOTO: INC group

“It is probably a few years ahead of time before we can realise the big project unless something special happens,” said Roald Førde, CFO of the INC Group, adding that the hydrogen production plant is also waiting.

Førde hopes that the company can start construction of the pilot plant this autumn and that there will be fish in the plant next spring.

Both the pilot plant and the full-scale plant will use RAS technology, which, according to Førde, is immature and is the main reason for the plans being postponed.

He points out that there are known issues with the recycling of saltwater, among other things, that toxic hydrogen sulfide gas can occur, which can kill all fish relatively quickly. Förde further stated that they are looking at water treatment in general, that some suppliers are unable to produce water that is as clear and clean as it should be.

“Virtually all the suppliers we have looked at have some weaknesses. But much of the technological development of RAS is happening. That’s the main reason we spent extra time,” said Førde.

According to Førde, it may be appropriate to assemble the plant, based on different technologies from several suppliers.