January 26, 2021
Grieg Seafood enters land-based salmon farming with stake in joint venture in Norway
Grieg Seafood ASA has entered the land-based salmon farming sector with its one-third ownership in joint venture Årdal Aqua and plans to build a new facility in southern Norway.
Also holding one-third ownership in Årdal Aqua are smolt and post-smolt company Vest Havbruk and Norway-based investor group Omfar.
In a filing with the Oslo Stock Exchange, Grieg said that the newly-formed Årdal Aqua will produce at least 3,000 tonnes of post-smolt annually and grow fish all the way to harvest size at a proposed land-based facility in Årdal, Rogaland, Norway.
"We are working hard to improve biology and fish welfare, and to reduce our impact. For a long time, we have invested in post-smolt, where we keep the fish longer on land before we release it into the sea, as an important part of the solution. With Årdal Aqua, we will be able to develop this farming method further. We aim for all of our fish in Rogaland to spend less than one year in the sea," said Grieg Seafood CEO and Årdal Aqua chair Andreas Kvame.
The project is currently in the design development phase, and the company plans to start construction in the autumn of 2021. The facility will have an initial production capacity of 5,000 tonnes annually, according to current plans, and the company intends to increase the production capacity further.
The filing stated that the company will release information about the investment cost when the design development phase is completed.
Currently, it estimates an investment cost of NOK120 (US$14.19) per kilogramme.
Under the current plans, Årdal Aqua will create 25 local jobs in Rogaland.
"Through our post-smolt investments we acquire competence on how to produce larger fish on land. Based on this knowledge, Årdal Aqua will also grow fish all the way to harvest size. We will take a step-by-step approach, as we know how complex biology is," Kvame said.