Cermaq abandons $500 million Nova Scotia expansion

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Cermaq’s Canadian subsidiary could not find suitable locations to justify a move into the province.

In a press release, Cermaq Canada writes that it has confirmed that it will be letting all Options to Lease awarded by the Province of Nova Scotia expire which means that its planned multimillion-dollar expansion is over.

Last year, the Mitsubishi-owned salmon farmer Cermaq Canada announced that it needed 10-20 sites to make the project viable.

It needed between sites that could have an annual output of 20,000 tonnes to justify it and open a hatchery and processing plant.

The province granted Cermaq four Options to Lease. The salmon farmer subsequently launched site investigations, feasibility studies as well as an extensive public engagement drive.

Cermaq thanked Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia Assembly of Chiefs but the project drew critism from locals who lived near the proposed sites.

Last year, SalmonBusiness reported that Kiemele said the company would have invested between USD 400 and USD 500 million on the expansion.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to locate enough sites at this time, and have made the decision to allow all of our Options to Lease to expire,” said David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada on the decision.

“We acknowledge there were many people interested in our potential investment as this kind of economic diversification can be very important to rural coastal communities. Aquaculture, such as salmon farming, will have an increasingly important role to play in responding to climate change and contributing to North American food security,” he added.

The company’s operations will now be only remain based in Pacific’s Canada’s B.C wih locations near Vancouver Island.