With no commercial revenues earned, Norwegian land-based farmer Salmon Evolution AS has posted negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of almost NOK 6.3 million (USD 756,654, EUR 620,408) and a pre-tax loss of NOK 5.6 million (USD 672,520, EUR 551,416) for the first quarter of this year.

However, the young company claims to be on track to produce 25,000 metric tons (MT) of fish in 2024, with a “clear roadmap” for 70,000 MT by 2030.

According to its Q1 2021 report, “with funding in place and projects well underway, Salmon Evolution is uniquely positioned to take a global frontrunner position in the future development of land-based salmon farming.”

The initial phase of construction of its first hybrid flow-through system (HFS) farm at Indre Harøy on the Norwegian west coast is both on-time and on-budget, it said. During this period, these works have mainly focused on the production facilities, where the company has started the assembly of its fish tanks.

The plan for a first smolt release in March 2022 remains on track, it added.

Total capital expenditure during the three-month period was NOK 114 million (USD 13.7 million, EUR 11.2 million), of which NOK 110 million (USD 13.2 million, EUR 10.8 million) were investments related to a turnkey project with Artec Aqua at Indre Harøy. As per 31 March, 2021, the accumulated capex from project initiation in 2019 amounted to NOK 334 million (USD 40.1 million, EUR 32.9 million).

Also in the quarter, Salmon Evolution formalized the K Smart joint-venture with Dongwon Industries for the construction and operation of a 16,800 MT HOG capacity land-based salmon farming facility in South Korea. This construction is expected to start in 2022, with commencement of grow-out production in 2024.

“The joint venture with Dongwon Industries represents a massive opportunity for Salmon Evolution to leverage its human capital and build on the experiences from Indre Harøy, as well as securing the company a very tangible pipeline for the coming years,” Salmon Evolution CEO Håkon André Berg said.

In March, the company issued 83.3 million shares at a subscription price of NOK 6.00 (USD 0.72, EUR 0.59) per share, raising gross proceeds of NOK 500 million (USD 60 million, EUR 49.2 million). A month later, it announced the signing of a committed term sheet for a NOK 625 million (USD 75.1 million, EUR 61.5 million) bank debt financing package with Nordea, Sparebanken Vest, and GIEK, securing a fully funded platform for both phase one of the project at Indre Harøy Phase and the company’s equity investment in K Smart.

Salmon Evolution has also begun the process of preparing for listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange, targeting the third quarter of this year.

Photo courtesy of Salmon Evolution

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