Norwegian entrepreneur seeks to raise €32mn to finance fly farm

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Entrepreneur Knut Botngård is looking to build a factory at Valsneset in Bjugn, Sør-Trøndelag County, to produce fish feed made from insects.

“We’re still on the hunt for more capital for the project, but considerable interest has been shown by several major companies,” Botngård told the regional newspaper Trønder-Avisa.

The plan is to locate the factory on a site adjacent to Marine Harvest’s operation.

The company moved into new office premises at Bjugn in April last year. At that time Botngård had confirmed they were on the hunt for fresh funds.

According to Botngård, he will spend just above one million euros in the course of a year on projecting. Construction will take around 18 months. The plan is for the factory to be supplied annually with 100,000 tonnes of kelp, grain, potato peelings and food leftovers, which will be used as food for black soldier fly larvae. The factory can thus produce 25,000 tonnes of insect larvae, which in turn will serve as a protein component in fish feed.

Hans Halle-Knutzsen, Director for sales and marketing at fish feed manufacturer BioMar, said the company is always on the lookout for new, sustainable sources of protein.

“If we can be supplied with sufficient volume at a competitive price, it’s a product that’s of interest to us. However, we’re dependent on the consumers accepting this type of innovative raw material,” said Knutzsen.