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Icelandic farmer plans 80,000 tonne processing plant

Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax hopes to employ 100 people in its new processing plant
Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax hopes to employ 100 people in its new processing plant

Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax has announced plans to build a processing plant with capacity for 80,000 tonnes of fish in the Westfjords region of the country.

The company, part of the Icelandic Salmon group which is owned by SalMar, signed a declaration of intent for the high-tech facility with officials in Vesturbyggð this week.

The new 10,000 square metre unit will be constructed in Vatnseyri in Patreksfjörður, employing about 100 people, said Arnarlax.

Björn Hembre, CEO of Arnarlax, said: “I am very pleased with this landmark agreement with Vesturbyggð. 

“This is the first step of many, but the declaration of intent allows us to start formal permit applications and design and preparation work for the construction of a high-tech processing house in Patreksfjörður, which will create many valuable jobs. 

Investment

“The investment will also strengthen the industry's competitiveness and strengthen the position of aquaculture in the Westfjords for the future.”

The company, which expects to harvest around 16,000 tonnes of salmon this year, will now draw up a new zoning plan for the area and prepare for construction, the relocation of existing operations and the development of further infrastructure in the area. 

Rebekka Hilmarsdóttir, Mayor of Vesturbyggð, said: "It is gratifying that Arnarlax and Vesturbyggð have agreed on this important future development in the southern Westfjords. 

“Aquaculture is the largest industry in the region and it is important that there is now a future vision on both sides for the continued development of aquaculture and related activities in Vesturbyggð.”