AKVA wins Middle East land-based salmon farm contract

Published on
September 21, 2020

Aquaculture services and equipment provider AKVA Group ASA has signed a design and cooperation agreement with Dubai, United Arab Emirates.-based and Vikings Label for design of a number of land-based salmon farms in the Middle East.

Announcing the deal, Vikings Chief Technical Officer Morten Malle said it was important to get an experienced and solid technology partner onboard for the project, which is aimed at building a land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) Atlantic salmon farm with a capacity of up to 10,000 metric tons, at an expected cost of USD 90 million (EUR 81 million).

“Only a few RAS suppliers have long-term experience in the design, construction, and operation of modern land-based fish farming in this region, AKVA group being one of them. In this partnership, we feel even more confident that we are creating successful projects and bringing long-term food security to the region,” Malle said. 

According to AKVA Land Based Sales Director Jacob Bregnballe, who has extensive experience from land-based projects in the Middle East, it is a challenge to build successful aquaculture projects in the region. It requires “a strong entity working tightly together,” he said.

“Many things are done differently in this region, often in ways we do not face on home grounds. In our new working relationship with Vikings we believe we have an excellent and ambitious team,” Bregnballe said. “Vikings has been progressing fast in the past few months and we can't wait to be part of the good progress.”

Earlier this year, AKVA signed a non-binding term sheet with the Norwegian company AquaCon AS to design and supply equipment and engineering for a new land-based salmon farm in the United States. If awarded, the USD 130 million (EUR 110 million) contract is expected to be completed by 2023.

The new grow-out facility, located in the U.S. state of Maryland, is expected to have the production capacity of 15,000 metric tons of head-on-gutted fish.

AKVA will participate with EUR 3 million (USD 3.5 million) in equity in the AquaCon project if sufficient further financing is achieved and will also provide a EUR 500,000 (USD 587,963) convertible loan as bridge financing until the financing of the project has been completed.

Its participation in the project is subject to AquaCon obtaining the necessary financing for the project and agreement on a final contract.  

Photo courtesy of AKVA

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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