Mowi Scotland plans to transform its fish processing facility at Blar Mhor in Fort William, Scotland, into one of the most-efficient and highest-capacity plants in the world, now that it has received planning permission for a multimillion-pound upgrade by The Highland Council.
The Norway-based salmon company has signed a contract with equipment supplier Marel for infeed to gutting lines, graders, and packing lines, and a separate contract with Samey for a robotic solution for final product-box stacking. The tender process for building works is due to start soon, according to Mowi.
Mowi Scotland Processing Director Scott Nolan said the company is investing GBP 15 million (USD 20.4 million, EUR 17.7 million) in the works at Blar Mhor, and that the move will secure the long-term future of the Fort William plant. Incorporating market-leading innovation and technology will put the facility “at the forefront of salmon processing,” he said. On completion, the upgraded Blar Mhor will have the capability to pack 200 fish per minute.
Mowi confirmed that a lot of the technology used in the upgrade, such as automation, will make a lot of the manual jobs at the plant, like heavy lifting, much easier. More than 80 percent of the boxes used at the plant will be robotically lifted, it said.
But before construction begins, the company’s management said it wants to get staff feedback on how staff facilities can be improved.
“We will be presenting staff with a 3D fly-through of the vision for the Blar later this month. That will be a key opportunity for us to get input into the plans and how we can improve their working environment such as break out areas and refreshment facilities,” Nolan said.
Mowi hopes that the new build, an extension of 700 square meters – featuring a two-story extension of 45 meters by 15 meters – will be completed in the second quarter of 2022.
Photo courtesy of Mowi Scotland