Icelandic Salmon pens. The company hopes to increase capacity by 7,000 tonnes. Photo: Icelandic Salmon.

Icelandic Salmon buys hatcheries as it eyes 7,000t volume increase

Iceland’s biggest salmon farmer, Icelandic Salmon, has signed purchase agreements for two smolt/post-smolt facilities at Hallkelshólar and in Þorlákshöfn (Thorlakshofn) in the south west of the country as it gears up for an expected increase in capacity.

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The company, part of Scottish Sea Farms co-owner SalMar, is buying the facilities through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Arnarlax ehf.

Icelandic Salmon said the two facilities are an important strategic milestone for the group, allowing for production of up to 800,000 smolts in 2022 and 1.5 million smolts total output from 2023 onwards. Following the expected licence conversion to salmon smolt production, the estimated increase in total harvest volume should be about 7,000 tonnes, based on the output from the two acquired facilities.

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Average weight of the smolts in 2023 is expected to be 250 grams, allowing Icelandic Salmon to better utilise the current licence capacity and prepare for possible licence increases to come.

Chief executive Björn Hembre said: “With this, Icelandic Salmon reinforces its fully vertically integrated value chain. The two acquisitions give us an important capacity increase for smolt production, as well as the ability to produce larger smolt. This will further strengthen the foundation for Icelandic Salmon’s ambitious future sustainable growth targets.”