In a two-day “kick-off” event, the operations department of the Norwegian company Salmon Evolution has announced that is now ready to accept smolt at the Indre Harøy fish farm. At the end of March, the first 100 000 smolts are due to be introduced to the first of the 12 tanks at the onshore fish farm in western Norway. All the other tanks will be filled with fish in the course of this year.

The gathering, that included a plant tour, technical information and social gathering at Hustadvika Gjestegård, has left many new recruits in the operations department even more motivated, according to Fish Welfare Manager, Oddvar Repstad.

The Manager has been planning the whole happening ever since he joined the company, three years ago. He is proud because the department is characterized by employees with broad and varied expertise. “It’s a privilege to be part of this,” he says.

“We’ve established a good team with motivated people, and it’s excellent that they include many young personnel who’re also from this part of Norway. We include veterinarians and biologists as well as people with certified skills in aquaculture and with a background from both fish farming in the sea and raising broodstock on land. The department also embraces people with a process industry background, including mechanics and maintenance specialists from process and mechanical industries,” Repstad added.

Ingjarl Skarvøy, one of Salmon Evolution’s founders, thinks it is great to be finally able to assemble the operations team. “It’s five years since we began this project and, after a good year with recruitment and thorough preparations, the gang’s now ready to welcome the smolt. My background is as a fish farmer, and what’s happening now is something I’ve really looked forward to. It was very inspiring to be together with 22 enthusiastic employees for the kick-off event.”

Salmon Evolution

Completed in the fourth quarter of 2022

Salmon Evolution AS was established in 2017 to pursue salmon farming on land. Their first production facility is the one in Indre Harøy. Strategically located on the Norwegian west coast, the site offers access to an educated and experienced workforce, an established infrastructure for salmon farming, renewable energy and unlimited fresh seawater, they explain.

This facility is being developed in three phases, with Phase 1 due to provide an annual capacity of 9 000 tonnes when completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The overall project is designed for a total annual capacity of 36 000 tonnes from its completion in 2028. It is based on a hybrid flow-through system (HFS) which ensures controlled and optimal growth conditions, and limits the risk of parasites and diseases, they assure. 

“Combined with a global expansion plan, we’re targeting an annual production capacity of about 70 000 tonnes in the medium- to long-term perspective”.

Salmon Evolution

Signed Heads of Terms with Artec Aqua

The company announced on February that it has entered into a Heads of Terms with Artec Aqua for the planning of the phase 2 build-out at Indre Harøy. Phase 2 is expected to in principle be identical to phase 1 and add a further 7,900 tons HOG of annual production, bringing the total planned production volume to 15,800 tons HOG per annum.

Artec Aqua is the turnkey supplier for Salmon Evolution’s phase 1 project at Indre Harøy where the first smolt will be released during March 2022 and with the full facility currently expected to be completed in Q4 2022.

The purpose of the Heads of Terms is to enable Salmon Evolution to be in a position to swiftly commence construction of phase 2 following the completion of phase 1. Such timeline requires significant preparatory activities, including but not limited to, planning, concept and detailed engineering and structuring of subcontractor tender processes.

Additionally, this preparatory phase will focus on leveraging the know-how and experiences gained from phase 1, facilitating implementation of identified areas of improvement, both from a biological, operational and financial perspective. Given the timeline with first groundworks commencing after completion of phase 1, the parties should also be able to implement learning effects obtained during the first 12 months of production.

Håkon André Berg, CEO of Salmon Evolution comments that “as the phase 1 build out at Indre Harøy now is nearing completion, we are very pleased to start the preparations for phase 2 construction. Phase 2 will stand on the shoulders of a successful phase 1 ramp-up and together with Artec Aqua we expect to realize significant efficiency gains while at the same time being able to continue optimizing the facility.”

The Heads of Terms further sets out the main commercial terms to be reflected in a final design and construction agreement between the parties. Capex for phase 2 is currently estimated to NOK 1.3 – 1.4 billion, reflecting both copy effects from phase 1 as well as general inflation and increased raw material prices, with final capex target expected to be set in 2H 2022.

The final design and construction agreement is expected to be effectuated during first half of 2022 and will include financing reservations providing Salmon Evolution with the necessary flexibility to align the phase 2 build out with the Company’s overall financing plan.

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