Andfjord Salmon preps for phase-two development to bring it to 19,000 MT of production
Andfjord Salmon remains on track with its plan to increase production at its land-based, flowthrough system in Kvalnes, Norway, according to its Q4 2022 financial update.
Andfjord Salmon CEO Martin Rasmussen told shareholders at a presentation of Q4 2022 results the company had provided “successful provided proof of concept” with its first large salmon pool, which was stocked with smolts in June 2022.
“Briefly summarized, everything is going well,” Rasmussen said. “The proof we need to claim that biological conditions are good, and the fish are thriving, is shown by strong growth. The average weight of the fish almost trebled from 560 to 1,434 grams during the quarter. And after six months in the pool, at the end of December 2022, we had an excellent survival rate of 98.4 percent. Survival remains high at 98.1 percent in mid-March 2023.”
Minor dips in the mortality rate curve were attributed to an incident in the pool, when lighting on the ROV cleaning machine was left on, causing stress to the salmon, and also to fish jumping into the hard pool walls, according to the company. Measures have been put in place to tighten standard operating procedures and the company has added safety padding to the farm walls. Despite the losses, Andfjord’s survival rate stands far ahead of average mortality rates for ocean-based salmon farmers at 16.1 percent in 2022, as measured in a recent fish health report by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.
A report prepared by Nofima, the Norwegian food research institute, which investigated salmon growth over the first six months of Andfjord’s farming operations, studying water quality, physical environment and fish behavior, confirmed Andfjord’s biological and welfare conditions are good, Rasmussen said. An audit of further fish health parameters is ongoing, he said.
Andfjord’s 0.94 feed-conversion ratio compares well with the 2021 industry average of 1.27, according to information from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.
Rasmussen said that has helped to keep production costs down, and he said further costs savings have been realized through the energy efficiency of the farm’s flowthrough system, which he said enables it to produce one kilogram of salmon for each kilowatt of electricity used.
Rasmussen said the company is in the final stages of contract discussions with suppliers to start development of Kvalnes Phase 2, which will bring the farm’s annual production from 1,000 metric tons (MT) to 19,000 MT, head-on, gutted-weight salmon. Shareholders will be presented with the build-out plan and timeline at a capital markets update later in the spring, Rasmussen said.
The company still plans to build out farms at two other locations, but in the short-term, Andfjord will focus efforts at the Kvalnes site, where the licence for development is already in place. The ultimate goal of the company is to product 90,000 MT of salmon per year, he said.
Rasmussen said the Norwegian government’s announcement in December 2022 of a six-month moratorium on permit applications for new land-based fish farms has ...
Photo courtesy of Andfjord Salmon