AKVA's Danish subsidiary has won a £10.6m contract to build a smolt hatchery in Russia. Photo: AKVA.

Russian salmon farmer to build smolt plant in Murmansk

Aquaculture equipment supplier AKVA has won a €11.9 million (£10.6m) tender to deliver a new smolt facility in Murmansk, Russia, it announced today.

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The order is from Russian Aquaculture, one of the country’s largest salmon farmers.

Russian Aquaculture already owns two Norwegian smolt suppliers – Villa Smolt, which it bought from SalMar in July 2017, and Olden Oppdrettsanlegg, based near Trondheim, which it bought in October the same year.

At the time Russian Aquaculture said it didn’t plan to move the production facilities closer to home but was “considering leveraging the experience of running smolt production facilities in Norway in our plans to build a smolt plant in Russia”.

30,000 tonnes by 2025

At the end of 2017, Russian Aquaculture owned salmon and trout cultivation rights for 30 sites with a potential production volume of 50,000 tonnes.

Its goal is to produce between 25,000-30,000 tonnes of fish annually by 2025, at least doubling the 12,500 tonnes of salmonids harvested in 2017.

The contract for the new smolt facility has been won by AKVA group Denmark, a subsidiary of Norwegian parent company AKVA group ASA, but the final deal is not yet concluded. It is subject to financing and regulatory approvals in Russia, among other things, said AKVA.

Delivery of the project is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2020.