Mowi Scotland to increase Blar Mhor salmon processing capacity to more than 80,000 tonnes

News
403

Demand for premium Scottish salmon fillets to increase, says salmon giant.

In a statement, Mowi Scotland writes that it is making changes to its processing management to support plans for increased salmon processing capacity at its Blar Mhor facility in Fort William.

Scott Nolan has been promoted to processing director and will lead the redevelopment of the company’s salmon processing site to build capacity to more than 80,000 tonnes from 66,000 tonnes.

Scott Nolan. PHOTO: Mowi Scotland

Industry veteran Ewan MacColl will continue as logistics director to focus on ensuring further improvements to the company’s logistics and supply chain as the business gears up to increase volume and tackles challenges related to Brexit.

Speaking to the company’s sustainable development growth plans toward 80,000 tonnes over the coming years COO Ben Hadfield said that demand for “premium Scottish salmon remains strong and is expected to increase year on year”. He added that he was very pleased with Mowi’s board decision “to invest further in our farming and processing operations in Scotland.”

In response to restricted capacity at its Blar Mhor plant, the company announced in May 2019 a strategic review of processing alternatives, including the construction of a new build at a new location. However, the expansion and increased automation at the existing Blar Mhor processing site was determined to be the most compelling business case.

Blar Mhor team. PHOTO: Mowi Scotland

“Since returning to Mowi in 2020 after spending 14 years in Australia leading processing and sales with Huon Aquaculture and three years as Managing Director for Aquatiq Australia and New Zealand, Scott has been instrumental in the design project for the Blar and as Processing Director will oversee all harvesting and processing operations and this expansion project which is due to be completed in the second half of 2022,” Hadfield added.

The planning process will start in the coming weeks with a view to building work starting in 2021.

Ewan MacColl. PHOTO: Mowi Scotland

Ewan MacColl, who has more than 33 years’ experience with processing and logistics, said: “In a challenging year with the pandemic and Brexit in combination, we have been pleased with the reliability and resilience of our logistics chain. However, as we increase volumes we need to ensure that all elements of our supply chain are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible in a way that promotes environmental sustainability, such that we are prepared for whatever the next challenges might be.”

The Blar Mhor expansion will utilise state-of-the-art robotic technologies for handling and grading salmon and much of the work will be undertaken without closure of the facility.