Former fisheries minister involved in land-based fish farming project in Norway – will produce 40,000 tonnes of salmon in old quarry

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The start-up company Ecofisk has applied for a license to establish a land-based salmon farming facility in the small village of Espevik, in Norway. With them on the team, they have got former Minister of Fisheries, Svein Magnus Munkejord.

According to the application, to which Salmon Business has been granted access, an application has been made for an annual production of up to 20 million smolts. It also includes 40,000 tonnes of salmon distributed in 20,000 tonnes of market size fish.

Through a long-term lease agreement, Ecofisk disposes of a planned industrial area of ​​300,000 square meters, where Amrock previously operated a quarry, which has now been applied for redistribution to aquaculture in an ongoing zoning plan process.

The story continues below the picture.

Espevik Industrial Area. PHOTO: From application

Building in stages
“It is planned to establish a modern facility that covers the entire production cycle from roe to food. Two fish plants are planned to meet the total need for further production. The post-smolt and food fish part of the plant will consist of 8 main modules of 5000 tonnes. Each production cycle is divided into 9 compartments (4 in fish module and 5 in food fish module) based on known recycling technology (RAS-1) and with temperature control, water reuse and mechanical and biological treatment of the water. Oxygen must be added and particles, CO2, nitrogen and phosphorus removed through various processes,” the application states.

“Operational, financial and biological risk indicates that the full level of production must be built up over time. Consequently, Ecofisk plans for an expansion through 8 modules of 5000 MT’s post-smolt and food fish capacity,” the company continues.

According to Ecofisk, all fresh water needed by the plant should be covered with desalinated seawater from about 80 meters deep in the Hervikfjord.

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Sketch of the whole plant. ILLUSTRATION: From application

Has brought with him former Minister of Fisheries
According to the application, Ecofisk is a company that was established in 2018. The company owns the Espevik industrial area and are experienced industrial developers. According to the company, they have high biological, technical and RAS operating expertise, as well as a good understanding of the value chain for salmon from eggs to market.

According to Proff.no, among other stakeholders, Baustad & Co, which provides strategic and investment advisory services to the offshore industries, holds shares in the company (14.29 per cent). CEO of Baustad & Co, Lars Erik Baustad, is Chairman of the Board of Ecofisk.

He tells Salmon Business that it is too early to start with what the plant costs and how it should be financed.

“But we will work with the financing next year. There will also be a lot of strategic work,” says Baustad.

Former Minister of Fisheries in the Syse government, the Conservative Party’s Svein Magnus Munkejord, has also invested in the company (14.29 per cent). Munkejord, who was Minister of Fisheries from 1989 to 1990, was also the fisheries manager and regional director of Rogaland in the Directorate of Fisheries from 1985 to 2004.

“He has dedicated his life to fisheries management, and becomes absolutely central to the work with Ecofisk,” concludes Baustad.