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"Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century."

- Peter Drucker, Management Expert & Economist


Norwegian salmon execs behind plans for Europe's largest land-based farm

Several Norwegian executives -- including a former regional manager at Norwegian salmon farmer SalMar -- are behind plans to build Europe's largest land-based salmon farm.

On Monday, More og Romsdal, Norway-based Salmon Evolution said it had received the green light for plans to build a NOK 3 billion ($367.2 million) farm in Fraena, northern Norway, after local authorities granted it a license. 

The as-yet unfinanced project is designed with an annual production capacity of 28,800 metric tons, and a maximum standing biomass of 13,300t. 

Managing director of Salmon Evolution is former regional manager at SalMar for Rommsdal and Sunnmore, Ingjarl Skarvoy. 

"We're extremely pleased that the licence is in place and that work on realizing this project can continue," said Skarvoy. "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."

Ingjarl Skarvoy, managing director at Salmon Evolution, formerly regional manager at SalMar

Salmon Evolution was established in July of last year, and registered in August, according to Norway's companies register. The firm's chairman is Kristofer Reiten, currently manager at Vikomar, a Norwegian fish processing company specialized in producing, freezing and distributing pelagic fish.

Directors are given as Per Olav Mevold, general manager at Vikenco, a Norwegian salmon farming company; and Jonny Smage, technical manager, also at Vikenco. 

According to Skarvoy's Linkedin page, he was also previously managing director of SalMar Organic. 

Currently in Europe land-based facilities for growout, such as Denmark's Langsand Laks -- owned by Atlantic Sapphire -- are few and far between, although more are in the pipeline. Last week, Nordic Aquafarms said it had received approval to start phase two its Fredrikstad Seafoods land-based salmon farm in Norway.  

Directors are Per Olav Mevold, general manager at Vikenco, a Norwegian salmon farming company; and Jonny Smage, technical manager, also at Vikenco. The firm's chairman is Kristofer Reiten, currently manager at Vikomar

Skarvoy said Norway is a "world leader" in land-based concepts. "The pace of innovation in the aquaculture sector is high. Our nation is the world leader for traditional cage-based farming in the sea, closed systems, more offshore-related solutions and land-based concepts."

Tove Henoen, chair of Fraena council, said: "This land-based farm will put More og Romsdal on the map in the development of Norwegian aquaculture from a sustainable perspective. It'll give the region valuable expertise and new jobs and will bring innovation and the development of exciting projects in its wake."

Land-based salmon projects

So far, Salmon Evolution has yet to approach potential investors, but is confident it will secure financing. "The level of interest is understandable - a lot of people want to participate in this adventure," he said. He added the firm is looking for long-term investors who can help develop the business model.

According to Skarvoy, the aim is for a 2021 completion.

In the US, where large distances from salmon production centers make land-based farms more economical, several land-based salmon farms are also in the pipeline. In June, Nordic Aquafarms announced it was beginning staffing for its huge 33,000t capacity salmon farm in Maine, US. 


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