Averøy Seafood planning 30,000-metric-ton flowthrough salmon farm
Geir Nordahl Pederson, the oil millionaire who helped found Losna Seafood, has submitted an application to build a 30,000-metric-ton (MT) land-based salmon farm in Tøfta, Western Norway, under the Averøy Seafood banner.
The innovative facility will comprise 28 biosecure closed units, each with a 20,000-cubic-meter capacity, providing Averøy Seafood a total volume production area of 560,000 cubic meters.
The units will be housed in two parallel rows, in a pool approximately 450 meters long, 85 meters wide, and 35 meters deep, carved out of a mountain adjacent to the sea. The pool will hold 1.34 million cubic meters of sea-water and each cage will operate on a 100 percent flow-through basis. Water will be pumped in from a depth of 75 metres, which is well below the sea lice zone and will provide stable salinity and temperature conditions for the salmon, Nordahl Pederson told SeafoodSource.
“The aim is to take in 70-gram smolts and to ongrow them to harvest size of around five kilograms. We anticipate that the time to harvest is inside one year,” Nordahl Pederson said.
Nordahl Pederson said flow-through technology fascinated him, and in planning the new facility, he decided to take a completely new look at the mechanics of land-based salmon farming, patenting a new pumping and farming system.
“It was important to me that the new farm should be designed to minimize power use, so we have come up with a new pump that will improve pumping efficiency by 60 percent. This in turn will significantly reduce the overall cost of production compared with other systems on land," he said. "Another innovation is that everything will be made from specialist plastic to reduce any risk of contamination from metals or paint."
Nordahl Pederson was granted planning permission almost a year ago to develop the land-based salmon farm in Losna, with an initial licensed capacity of 28,600 MT. However, a few months later, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries withdrew the license, questioning whether the farm was actually land-based.
Licenses exist for other farms using flow-through technology in pools adjacent to the ocean, but the DoF cited an early sketch of the farm, which appeared to show it in a cove, rather than on land.
“Their decision is currently under appeal, and I am waiting to hear the result. I can’t understand why I am not allowed to build,” Nordahl Pederson said.
In the meantime, Averøy Seafood has already signed separate memorandums of understanding with waste operator Ragn-Sells Havbruk, processor Sekkingstad, and fish health company STIM with the hopes of getting the project started quickly if and when the permits are renewed, Nordahl Pederson said.