AKVA Scotland cage ring construction in Alicante, Spain. Photo: AKVA

Business hots up for Akva Group Scotland

Akva Group Scotland is spreading its wings with the establishment of new offices in Spain, Greece and Iran.

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The Inverness-based Scottish branch of the Norwegian technology and service supplier recently signed contracts that include camera rentals, a customised feed system and 120m circumference cages for Spain’s growing aquaculture industry and staff from Scotland have travelled to Alicante to construct cages.

Scotland general manager Dave Thorburn has been promoted to head of export. Photo: Akva

An Akva spokesperson explained: “Originally the Mediterranean (including Turkey and North Africa) was the responsibility of the export team in Norway. However, five years ago it was felt that it would be better for Scotland to manage and develop this market as part of the EU, and also it is easier to support this market from Scotland than Norway. This would also allow the export team to focus their resources on the rapidly growing markets in Russia, Middle East, Asia and the Far East.

“As part of a recent group organisational change Trond Severinsen, the head of export, now heads up the R&D division and (Scotland general manager) Dave Thorburn is promoted to head of export. This is as a consequence of Trond’s move and recognition of the Scottish success in developing the Med market in the past few years.”

Build the Scottish team

Thorburn has been involved with aquaculture industry since the 1980s and formerly headed up Idema Scotland net cleaners before joining AGS as general manager in 2008.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to continue to develop these new markets over the coming years with our experienced Norwegian team. We will also build the Scottish team to increase the support to these markets.”

Juan Ramon Prieto will head up Akva's new Spanish operation. Photo: Akva

The new Spanish company, Akva group España tecnología de acuicultura S.L., will be headed up by new technical and commercial director Juan Ramon Prieto. Prieto and his team are based at a new work shop and office in Murcia, central to the main bream and bass farmers. Akva said Prieto had been working in the Mediterranean aquaculture sector since 1997, with sea bass, sea bream, bivalves and blue fin tuna, in a wide variety of roles. Juan’s extensive industry knowledge will add great experience to the company.

Quadruple production

Sea bass and bream are Spain’s main marine species with 23,000 and 14,000 metric tonnes produced respectively. The Spanish government aims to quadruple aquaculture production under the Marca Espana (Brand Spain).

Akva is also setting up companies and offices in Iran and Greece. The Greek company is being headed up by Bruno Polichetti, who has been Akva’s agent and support person for the last 25 years in Greece, and the Iranian office by Hamid Emami, an Iranian who has worked with Akva group in Norway for many years.

All the new companies come under Akva Group Scotland and Dave Thorburn.