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Benchmark starts production at £40m salmon egg facility

The waiting's ova: Salmobreed's facility at Salten in Norway is now complete and has started salmon egg production.
The waiting's ova: Salmobreed's facility at Salten in Norway is now complete and has started salmon egg production.

Salmon egg producer Salmobreed, owned by UK-based aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics Benchmark Holdings plc, has begun production of salmon eggs at its new £40 million land-based breeding facility in Salten, northern Norway.

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The facility will increase Benchmark’s salmon egg capacity by 75% and allow it to supply eggs year-round, which is only possible in a land-based facility.

Benchmark currently outsources part of its production to meet demand, and the new facility will enable it to bring production in-house.

Malcolm Pye: 'Important milestone'.
Malcolm Pye: 'Important milestone'.

Additional fish

Sales of fertilised eggs will commence in November and additional fish will be brought into the facility to increase volumes throughout 2019. The facility will reach full production capacity in 2021.

Benchmark chief executive Malcolm Pye said: “The opening of our new facility in Salten on time is a very important milestone for Benchmark which will allow us to capitalise on our leading market position in salmon genetics and the favourable long term market trends in the industry. We expect it to contribute additional revenues at higher margins going forward.”

The Salten facility will allow Benchmark to serve the growing north Norway region as well as the rest of Norway and international markets.

In June Benchmark signed an agreement with Chilean salmon farmer Aquachile to form a breeding and genetics joint venture, Benchmark Genetics Chile, and in April it won a contract to supply triploid eggs from its Icelandic breeding company StofnFiskur to Grieg NL’s new farms in Newfoundland.

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