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Former Steinsvik chief linked to new Canada service firm

Bjorn Apeland is reported to have partnered with a local businessman to form Marbase.
Bjorn Apeland is reported to have partnered with a local businessman to form Marbase.

Bjorn Apeland, the former owner of aquaculture services provider Steinsvik, is reported to be involved in plans to create a fully-integrated aquaculture service hub in Marystown, Newfoundland, Canada.

Marystown Shipyard will be leased to Marbase if everything falls into place. Photo: Southern Gazette
Marystown Shipyard will be leased to Marbase if everything falls into place. Photo: Southern Gazette

According to The Telegram, a newspaper based in St John’s, Newfoundland, Apeland’s Amar Group AS has partnered with St John’s-based businessman Paul Antle’s Pluto Investments Inc to create a new company, Marbase.

The Telegram reports that Marystown council has reached a “template agreement” to buy the town’s disused shipyard from its owner, subject to due diligence, with the intention to then lease it to Marbase.

The newspaper said that according to an internal document leaked to some media outlets in the province, the Marbase operation will be the first of its kind in Canada and will provide comprehensive services offerings to the aquaculture industry in the Atlantic region.

Supply chain efficiency

According to The Telegram, the documents states: “Marbase will bring together key suppliers to enhance the industry’s supply chain efficiency, enable access to key resources, improve advanced technology transfer, and move Canada’s aquaculture production towards a more modern, sustainable and efficient future.

“The fully-integrated hub will also improve access to core competencies in technical disciplines demanded by the industry.”

Marystown mayor Sam Synard told the newspaper that whether the development happens largely depends on if Grieg NL’s proposal to operate an Atlantic salmon hatchery in Marystown, along with sea farms in Placentia Bay, receives environmental approval from the provincial government.

‘Green light to Grieg’

“This whole process is doable, but it’s really contingent to the province giving the green light to Grieg Seafarms, in particular,” he is reported to have said.

“We’re dealing with reputable business people who have experience and have resources, have money, right. I’m convinced this can work, but we need a bit more time to put it all together.”

Grieg NL’s proposal includes a 75 million Canadian dollar (CAD) hatchery and nursery facility, to produce seven million smolt annually and stock 11 sea cage sites, ultimately producing 33,000 tonnes of salmon a year. This would more than double the Canadian province’s annual production of farmed salmon.

Newfoundland and Labrador province has committed to funding CAD45m of the project, which had an estimated total cost of CAD250m (£152m).

Grieg’s plan has been delayed by a court ruling that is must be subject to a full environmental impact statement.

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