Sweden is set to become the European leader in land-based fish farming, according to a recent announcement by the Municipality of Sotenäs and Lighthouse Finance A/S.
At a press conference, municipal board chairman Mats Abrahamsson said that Sotenäs had entered into an agreement with Lighthouse to "start a multi-billion-[dollar] class establishment.”
The new fish farm complex will span 75 hectares, making it the largest in Europe, and provide around 2,000 jobs, according to Abrahamsson. It comes at a cost of SEK 17 billion to SEK 20 billion (USD 1.6 billion to USD 1.9 billion, EUR 1.5 billion to EUR 1.8 billion) and has received full backing from the Swedish government.
The design, which is contingent on obtaining permits from the relevant authorities, includes two 40,000-metric-ton (MT) farming facilities, one with a capacity of 20,000 MT, plus feed production, processing, and waste treatment plants.
It is hoped that groundwork on the project can start in 2021, with production starting in 2023. Within five years, output from the farms is projected at 100,000 MT of Atlantic salmon per year, with fish destined for the international marketplace.
Norwegian company Lighthouse has become firmly embedded in the aquaculture industry in recent years, structuring transactions and raising money to finance the construction of land-based integrated recirculating aquaculture (RAS) commercial fish farms.
Lighthouse is financing projects for established and early-stage seafood companies throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including a 10,000 MT RAS salmon farm in Vietnam, in partnership with Dong Nam Investment, SEA Aquaculture, Singapore-based AquAgro Projects, and Israeli RAS tech specialist AquaMaof.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Sotenäs in building the most modern vertically integrated Atlantic salmon farm in the world. The project will bring high paying jobs to the area and utilize the most sustainable farming practices, from feed-to-waste conversion,” Lighthouse CEO Roy Hoias told SeafoodSource.
Israeli RAS expert AqauMaof, which has supplied technology for more than 50 projects worldwide – growing 16 different species and with potential annual production of greater than 450,000 MT – will provide the state-of-the-art equipment for the Swedish farms. AquaMaof is also the technology partner for Pure Salmon, which just announced a USD 359 million (EUR 333 million) deal to fund its first four RAS plants in Poland, Japan, France, and the U.S.
The Sotenäs municipal government has now invited experienced land-based salmon farmers to apply for a licence to operate on the site.
Photo courtesy of ricok/Shutterstock