Construction at Spains’ first land-based salmon farm restarts after seven month COVID delay

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The project, which aims to provide five-per-cent of Spain’s demand for salmon, is set to cost around EUR 31 million.

The building site has been set back for months because of the pandemic, but preparatory work is now being commissioned for Norcantabric Spain’s first land-based salmon farm Norcantabric, reports El Diario Montanes.

The site, which is in Cantabria, Northern Spain, is aiming for initial production of 3,000 tonnes per year.

The company, led by CEO Juan Emilio Cano, bought the site for EUR 1.3 million from public company SICAN in November last year. Regional investors Sodercan put in EUR 1 million in the project last July.

The drop in Spain’s tourism due to the pandemic will not affect Norcantabric’s production target.

“Our 3,000-tonne project will not be affected. On the contrary, whoever has the capacity to supply in proximity can be strengthened. Furthermore, we understand that 2021 will be a better year. I think the worst is over,” said Cano to the publication. Overall, the Spanish market consumes 70,000 of salmon tonnes a year.

Cano conceded that the market conditions were tough. “The market has moved a lot, it is very punished. There has been a lot of movement in the facilities, many have been left behind. This is like a long-distance race, with obstacles. There is a lot of disruption and problems in the sector. Many plans have stood still. This is the only project in Europe that continues to move forward. We will have to consolidate ourselves and enter that new scenario, where there will be fewer players or it will take longer to introduce their production,” he explained.

This first part of the facility, a hatchery for the site’s fry and fingerlings, is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Norcantabric’s tech is being developed by the Israeli RAS specialists AquaMaof.