Massive smolt facility being built at former Pan Fish site

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The build is starting to take shape at the old ferry port at Haukå outside Florø, Western Norway, where Billund Aquaculture is constructing a new large hatchery.

It is located on Gudmund Strømsnes’ father’s farm. He built up Norway Seafarms, which was later acquired as an important part of Pan Fish. The Pan Fish name is gone today. The company is now called Mowi.

Billund Aquaculture Norway will fulfill the contract in cooperation with the contractor Veidekke. The delivery from the two partners includes a complete facility.

“This is a milestone in our history. Because it will be the biggest task since our Norwegian company started in 2017,” said Billund Chief Technology Officer Marius Hægh in a message on LinkedIn.

MOWI contracted Billund Aquaculture Norway in 2020 to install a new RAS facility at Haukå. This project is now in the final stages, and the latest, far larger agreement includes RAS, pipes, electrical, energy facility and feeding system.

This next stage of construction at Haukå, will contain two similar production lines, each with a fish tank volume of 5,000 m³ and a feeding capacity of 4,400 kg.

“The new facility is also being built to use brackish water with salt content up to 20 per ml,” said Mowi’s head of freshwater production in the region, John-Ivar Sætre.

“But in the long term, it may be desirable to use seawater. And then we must take into account, among other things, materials that can withstand saline,” said Sætre.

The licence covers the production of 7.5 million fish annually. This results in an increase from around 400 tonnes to 1,500 tonnes of fish a year. An increase in the weight of the smolt up to 300 grams before leaving a land-based facility means shorter stays in the sea. This significantly reduces the risk of sea lice.

Construction of phase 2 began in September. The projects’ groundwork and underground pipes are in full swing, and construction is planned for March 2022.