Changes at the top for Norwegian land-based salmon farmer
Salmon Evolution’s annual general meeting on 27 March saw Tore A. Tønseth, investment director at Ronja Capital, elected as the new chairman of the board.
Ronja Capital, which is owned by Roger Halsebakk – founder of wellboat company Sølvtrans – recently secured the largest stake in Salmon Evolution, Norway’s largest planned land-based salmon farm to date.
In addition to Tønseth’s appointment as chairman, Peder Stette, Frode Kjølås, and Glen Bradley were re-elected as directors. And former chairman Kristofer Reiten has stepped down as a board member.
Announcing the new board structure, Salmon Evolution explained that Tønseth would be “strongly involved” in the company's further development.
“I am thrilled to take over as chairman of the board and get the opportunity to get involved in the further development of a good concept in collaboration with the rest of the board and administration of Salmon Evolution,” Tønseth said. “The start of the construction project and further financing of the construction phase one are the major milestones in the time to come.”
Tønseth added that land-based farming will play a key role in the future of the seafood industry due to the “biological limitations” in conventional farming.
“Salmon Evolution has a unique approach to land-based production, which we believe has a clearly lower risk profile than many other projects,” he said.
Meanwhile, Salmon Evolution CFO Håkon Andrè Berg has been appointed CEO, with Odd Tore Finnøy vacating the role.
Earlier in March, the company raised an additional NOK 258 million (USD 24.6 million, EUR 22.4 million) as it looks to start its first construction phase. Of this, NOK 107 million (USD 10.2 million, EUR 9.3 million) was raised from existing funders, and the remainder came from new investors, including Ronja Capital.
Using recycled flow technology rather than a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), Salmon Evolution’s farm off Indre Harøy in the Hustadvika municipality has targeted the production of 36,000 metric tons (MT) of salmon annually when at capacity.
The initial phase will aim to produce 9,000 MT a year. Smolts are planned to be introduced at the end of 2021, with the first fish harvested a year later.