Land-based fish farming will be an important part of the Norwegian aquaculture industry in the future, believes managing director Ingjarl Skarvøy at Salmon Evolution.
”We’re extremely pleased that the licence is in place and that work on realising this project can continue,” he says. “We’ve had a good dialogue with those involved while our application has been under consideration and have received much positive response to our concept.”
Tove Henøen, chair of Fræna council, is very pleased that the county has taken a positive decision on land-based aquaculture. She says the facility will be highly significant not only for the local authority but also for the whole region according to a press release given exclusively to SalmonBusiness.
“This land-based farm will put Møre og Romsdal on the map in the development of Norwegian aquaculture from a sustainable perspective,” she observes. “It’ll give the region valuable expertise and new jobs and will bring innovation and the development of exciting projects in its wake.”
Change of pace
Skarvøy believes that establishing and developing land-based fish farming will represent a change of pace in Norway’s aquaculture sector.
“In addition to supporting the goal of increased national production, we will acquire, develop and transfer valuable expertise on alternative modes of operation and a circular economy.”
He reports that land-based fish farming will open new opportunities for exploiting marine resources, sludge and waste, either in a biogas plant or as fertiliser and soil improvers.
Energy from Nyhamna
Skarvøy sees a big potential in using the heat in waste water from the Nyhamna processing plant for gas from offshore fields and wants to take a close look at opportunities for reuse.
“Our concept on land creates opportunities to exploit existing resources in completely new ways, which in this case, both includes reusing energy and creating an optimum environment for the salmon with a stable temperature year-round.”
Earlier this month, the governor of Møre og Romsdal asked the Norwegian Environment Agency and other relevant government bodies and the industry to assess opportunities for transferring coolant water from the Gassco facility at Nyhamna to Salmon Evolution’s planned fish farm.
Plans call for the first construction stage to be completed in 2021. Fully developed and viewed in isolation, the plant will generate more than 80 new jobs in the region.
“This has been a driving force for us all along,” says Skarvøy. “The spin-offs will also be substantial and provide a number of opportunities for exciting projects and innovations, growth for existing companies and the creation of new enterprises.”
Biggest in Europe
Salmon Evolution will be Europe’s biggest land-based fish farm to date.
“We’re not so concerned about being the biggest,” says Skarvøy. “What we do will be for the benefit of the fish and the environment and create good conditions for a sustainable industry.”
He explains that the company will have much greater control over production conditions and infection on land than conventional fish farms. This could lay the basis for producing salmon sustainably, free of lice and with minimal handling during its life cycle. Waste water can also be treated before discharge to the Harøy Fjord, with the sludge utilised as a resource.
The price tag for the completed facility is more than NOK 3 billion and will call for external financing. Today’s owners believe the capital and interest to achieve this exist in the market.
“We haven’t approached possible investors yet, but have noted great interest in the project,” says Skarvøy. “We want long-term partners and investors who can help to develop our business model and a sustainable change of pace in salmon farming.”
“The pace of innovation in the aquaculture sector is high, and our nation is the world leader for traditional cage-based farming in the sea, closed systems, more offshore-related solutions and land-based concepts. So, the level of interest is understandable – a lot of people want to participate in this adventure.”