The Nordnorsk Smolt hatchery, located in Finnmark, grows smolt up to 250 grams. Image: Linn Therese Skar Hosteland.

Smolt hatchery snapped up by salmon giants

Norway Royal Salmon and Grieg Seafood have joined forces to secure smolt capacity in Finnmark.

The two companies have acquired 50 per cent each of Nordnorsk Smolt AS, a hatchery supplying big smolt located in Hasvik (Finnmark).

Speaking to, NRS chief financial officer Ola Loe said: “The company we acquired outputs big sized smolt of up to two years. They had some financial problems, Grieg was their main customer, and so due to that we decided to save the company and therefore we acquired 50 per cent for us and 50 per cent for Grieg.

“The company purchases smolt of about 70 to 90 grams and they produce the fish up to 250 grams, using seawater in the production of the fish. Big size smolt have a shorter production time and so are important both for us and for Grieg in order to optimise the production in the sea.”

The plant has a production capacity of 800 tonnes per year, corresponding to an annual production of about 3.2 million fish weighing 250 grams.

Potential to expand

While it will be possible to expand capacity to around 2,000 tonnes by developing the plant, Loe says there are no immediate plans to do so.

NRS chief financial officer Ola Loe: ‘Big size smolt are important to us and to Grieg.”

“There is potential to expand but we have not taken a decision on this expansion at the moment,” he said. “At first we have to start the production and be satisfied with the production in the property we have acquired. We think that it is a good possibility for good production in this plant. We have an option on the ground which is already prepared to build on, so if we want to do an investment in a bigger plant it is a good possibility – but we are not taking any decision about investment yet.”

The transaction values the company at an enterprise value of approximately NOK 100 million (£9.1 million).

Asked about any risks associated with taking over the site, Loe said: “There is always risk in biological production but we feel this is a limited risk due to the fact that production has already been good at the site in the past and the equipment has been upgraded last year. Our technical experts and Grieg’s technical experts are satisfied.”

Published: 16/05/2017 at 10:33 am

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