SALMAR is planning to invest 675 million kroners (around £63 million) in a ground-breaking new production and processing plant in the north of Norway.
The independently owned and rapidly expanding fish farming company – which owns 50 per cent of Scottish Sea Farms – said it will become one of the world’s most advanced facilities for processing salmon.
The project, unveiled by SalMar CEO Gustav Witzøe, will be based at the coastal community of Klubben Næringspark in the district of Senja, creating up to 70 jobs.
Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg, and new fisheries minister, Harald Tom Nesvik, were present during the announcement.
Witzøe told the audience: ‘This will be a significant step in strengthening this region as an important industrial engine in the company’s development.
‘This commitment is based on SalMar’s core values of taking social responsibility to the highest possible value creation through environmentally sustainable growth.
‘SalMar will immediately start planning for the new industrial plant. We expect to start construction work in the summer of 2019, with a view to using the plant during the second half of 2020.’
He said the area, although quite a distance from major markets, had been chosen because it was on the Gulf Stream and offered good growth conditions for producing Atlantic salmon.
SalMar planned to overcome the distance problems by creating a coherent and integrated value chain. This included a new state of the art fish farm at Tranøy, which included deliveries to its marine facilities in the north, and a new salmon processing factory in Lenvik.
He added: ‘This way we will have been able to establish a complete fishing industry value chain in the north, a value chain which will become even more robust after we have invested significant amounts in the purchase of new farming licences.
‘This will, in general, mean that SalMar will in the future directly supply large parts of the world with healthy seafood, wholly produced, and directly delivered from northern Norway.’
Picture: SalMar CEO Gustav Witzøe