Ecofisk: “There must be better solutions to the electricity crisis, otherwise we will have no industry in Norway”

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Ecofisk is planning to build a land-based facility in Espevik in Norway’s Tysvær municipality, where they can according to the plan produce up to 40,000 tonnes of salmon. 

Managing director of Ecofisk, Bjørn Inge Staalesen, said that the high electricity prices mean that the company now has to think again.

“It is a very relevant topic for us when it comes to investor decisions,” he told SalmonBusiness.

Staalesen will not elaborate on exactly what figures the company operates with when it comes to power consumption, but it was previously estimated that power consumption was 20 megawatts in power supplies. 

“For us, it is now about reducing the power requirement for the future.”

Solar cells
He went on to state that from the very beginning they have outlined building solar cells on the construction that is planned.

“We have to think green and energy efficient when building such a large facility. It is important that the authorities think about this when it comes to support for the industry. There must absolutely be a solution that is manageable for everyone, not just something.”

“You have to come up with better solutions to the electricity crisis, otherwise we will have no industry in Norway. Both now and for the future, so that driving becomes predictable. Building solar cells is a small part of it, where we can adjust the consumption at the plant according to peak prices, but only a maximum of a third of the consumption will come from the solar cells.”

Staalesen will not disclose whether the electricity prices will have an impact on the development for the company as it is now, but admits that as the situation is, it is difficult to plan for the future.

“It is clear that there are many factors that come into play for us. We are coming from two years of covid, so now almost a year of war in Ukraine. It does its part for the investor climate. As of now, we are running an infrastructure project.”

“In any case, it is important to also be able to see new opportunities, everything is not difficult.”

Read also:  Land-based fish farm boom grinds to a halt

Uncertain about the future
Staalesen said that they are planning a facility that will be as well equipped as possible for changes in the future. Not only when it comes to energy management, but also for how the situation with land-based is developing.

“It is clear that a lot can change in five to ten years. Land-based is still new, so the outcome of what will be the need for production on land has not yet been clarified. Therefore, we have the capacity to produce both smolt, large smolt and food fish.”

He said that the way he sees it, where you eventually decide that large offshore facilities are what you want, the need for smolt will be much greater than it is today.

“It is important to realize that it is not just a green shift here, but that it is also an industry that tackles the question of future need for food and proteins.”

“We want to produce what is needed for the industry to grow going forward,” he concluded.